In this file:

 

·         Wheres the beef from? Bill introduced requiring country labeling

State Sen. Al Olszewksi, R-Kalispell, introduced a bill Monday requiring retailers to inform consumers of the country of origin of beef and pork sold in stores…

 

·         Montana Ranchers are Kicking Up Dust to Bring Back Country of Origin Labels on Meat

A newly proposed bill would require COOL placards for beef and pork sold in Montana, and supporters want to see the return of a national policy.

 

 

Wheres the beef from? Bill introduced requiring country labeling

 

Karl Puckett, Great Falls Tribune (MT)

Feb. 6, 2019

 

State Sen. Al Olszewksi, R-Kalispell, introduced a bill Monday requiring retailers to inform consumers of the country of origin of beef and pork sold in stores.

 

The bill would require retailers to display a placard at counters differentiating between meat that falls in three categories:

 

» Meat that is born, raised, and processed in the United States

 

» Meat that is processed outside of the United States

 

» Meat that is only processed in the United States

 

The bill will be heard Feb. 12 by the Senate Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation Committee.

 

Northern Plains Resource Council is working with the Montana Cattlemen’s Association and Montana Farmers Union to reinstate country of origin labeling during the 2019 legislative session.

 

Consumers have the right to know where their meat comes from, and producers deserve an honest market, said Gilles Stockton of Grass Range, a retired rancher and Northern Plains member.

 

“If you pay attention, there’s country of origin labeling on everything, underwear, T-shirts, oranges — except for beef and pork,” Stockton told the Tribune last month.

 

Existing federal regulations allow beef and pork imported from other countries to be labeled “Product of USA” even if the meat is only processed or packaged in the United States, Northern Plains says.

 

In 2005, a Montana beef and pork labeling bill was passed that required a placard to be placed on the meat display case that stated where the meat came from.

 

The bill was never fully implemented in Montana because, in 2008, Congress reintroduced country of origin labeling into the Farm Bill with the rule taking effect in 2011 under the Obama administration. That superseded the 2005 Montana bill, which had a sunset clause when there was a national country of origin requirement.

 

In 2015, Congress rescinded country of origin labeling for beef and pork...

 

more

https://www.greatfallstribune.com/story/news/2019/02/06/bill-requires-country-labeling-beef-pork/2790501002/

 

 

Montana Ranchers are Kicking Up Dust to Bring Back Country of Origin Labels on Meat

A newly proposed bill would require COOL placards for beef and pork sold in Montana, and supporters want to see the return of a national policy.

 

By Twilight Greenaway, Civil Eats

February 7, 2019

 

When Jeanie Alderson looks at the big picture of ranching in Montana, the numbers just don’t add up. For generations, it was a state where the owners of small and medium-sized independent ranches like hers could make a living grazing cattle on the wide-open prairie. But now, she said, “people have two or three other jobs to support the habit of ranching.”

 

Alderson (pictured above) and her family raise grass-finished cattle that they sell directly to consumers as well as calves that get shipped to feedlots in states like Kansas and Nebraska, where they are fattened on corn, and then sold into the conventional market. She’s also part of a coalition of ranchers and local groups, including the Montana Cattlemen’s Association and the Northern Plains Resource Council, that are working to bring back country of origin labeling (COOL) in Montana for beef and pork—with an eye toward impacting the national conversation about how cheap, imported meat is effecting the nation’s remaining independent ranchers.

 

A federal COOL law went into effect in 2013, but was revoked in 2016 after a ruling by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and a subsequent decision by the U.S. Congress. Shortly thereafter, the market for domestic beef dropped for a number of reasons. But ranchers in Montana have tied the shift to the fact that consumers could no longer differentiate meat that came from animals that were raised in the U.S. from those that were imported. One reason is a loophole that allows beef and pork from outside the country to carry a “Product of the USA” label if it has been processed here.

 

“It’s really confusing to customers and it’s not fair,” said Alderson.

 

Earlier this week, Montana state senator Albert Olszewski introduced a bill that would bring back a modified version of COOL for beef and pork sold within the state. Rather than require labeling directly on the meat’s packaging, however, the lawmaker hopes to circumnavigate the original WTO ruling—which essentially said that COOL required too much paperwork, and thus violated free trade laws and discouraged American processors from buying foreign meat—by requiring a placard to be placed wherever the meat is sold in the state.

 

The hope, said Jim Baker, president of the Montana Cattlemen’s Association, is to “try to get the dust stirred up here, so we can get the conversation going about getting [COOL] back on a national level.” And while the odds of pushing COOL labeling forward—and providing more consumer transparency in the state—are looking good in the Republican-controlled state senate, the bill also includes language that could get pushback from some consumers. In addition to clarifying and defining many aspects of the production chain, the bill also seeks to define “meat” for marketing purposes, an effort to protect the livestock industry from competition from the emerging cell-based protein industry.

 

The Value of a Label ...

 

What the Bill Would Do ...

 

Defining Meat ... 

 

more, including links, photos

https://civileats.com/2019/02/07/montana-ranchers-are-kicking-up-dust-to-bring-back-country-of-origin-labels-on-meat/