Bison groups want to change how water buffalo are labeled under the current FDA policy

The National Bison Association is looking to close a regulatory loophole.

The group says it allows water buffalo to be labeled as just buffalo under current FDA policy. It is why they want the Truth In Buffalo Labeling Act included in this year’s Farm Bill.

“What this bill does is very simple. All it does is require water buffalo to be labeled as water buffalo because we Americans know buffalo as bison or buffalo and under current FDA regulations, water buffalo can be labeled simply as buffalo for human consumption, which is obviously an issue to our food security,” said Jim Matheson.

While lawmakers are busy with a multitude of issues for this year’s Farm Bill, Matheson says he is optimistic the Act will go through.

“The reception we’re getting back from Congress is that is a very fair and simple ask. There’s no money involved, which always helps, and they foresee this being included in the Farm Bill as the market bill.”

The bill has been introduced in both the House and Senate and provides the FDA with authority to ensure products with water buffalo are labeled as such. The group says this will make sure consumers are not misled to believe the product contains bison.