Effective July 1, 2002, Mississippi State Senate Bill 2367 will go into effect mandating "Country of Origin" labeling on beef products sold in retail stores. The labeling will provide three distinctions for labeling retail beef products: "American," "Imported," and "Blend." The American labeling specifically identifies beef from the United States. The labeling will only affect retail grocers and not food service sectors.
2002 Regular Session
Senate Bill 2367
(As Sent to Governor)
ANACT TO REQUIRE LABELING OF COUNTRY OF ORIGIN ON BEEF SOLD IN MISSISSIPPI; TO PROVIDE AN EXCEPTION FOR FULLY COOKED MEAT, MEAT INGREDIENTS IN PROCESSED FOODS AND FOR MEAT SOLD FOR CONSUMPTION ON THE PREMISES; TO PROVIDE A PENALTY FOR VIOLATIONS OF LABELING REQUIREMENTS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.\
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
(1) To the extent allowed by the Federal Meat Inspection Act and applicable federal meat inspection regulations, any person who sells unprocessed meat, whether fresh or frozen, in Mississippi after January 1, 2003, shall indicate in clear and conspicuous letters on the meat, the immediate wrapping or container, or a sign included with the display if the meat is displayed for sale or sold unwrapped, either the name of the country of origin preceded by the words "product of" or the country of origin of the meat using one (1) of the following designations: "Imported," "American" or "Blend" of imported and American meats.
(2) Whoever violates this section shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) for each act of violation. Each day on which a violation occurs shall be a separate offense. Penalties may be assessed at a hearing held by the Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce.
(3) The Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce shall administer and enforce this section and shall adopt rules and regulations necessary to carry out this section.
(4) This section shall not apply to prepared meat which is sold at retail for consumption on the premises and meat ingredients in processed foods and fully cooked meat as defined by the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety Inspection Service rules and regulations.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2002.