In this file:
· Congress wants consumers to be able to identify the fake and foreign beef and pork
… This week brought a new round proposals designed spur discussion on the topic, including reviving a more meaningful country of origin labeling for beef…
· SEN. ROUNDS: Only U.S. Beef Should be Labeled as a “Product of the U.S.A.”
… Current federal regulations include a loophole that allows beef from livestock born, raised and slaughtered in foreign countries to be labeled “Product of the U.S.A.” as long as the beef undergoes additional processing at a plant in the U.S. This is wrong…
· Origin Labels
Labels are all the rage these days…
Congress wants consumers to be able to identify the fake and foreign beef and pork
By Dan Flynn, Food Safety News by Marler Clark
November 1, 2019
Better beef labeling may not be imminent, but it may be bubbling to the top again.
This week brought a new round proposals designed spur discussion on the topic, including reviving a more meaningful country of origin labeling for beef.
USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) currently does not require that beef be born, raised, and slaughtered in the U.S. to carry a “Product of the U.S.A.” label.
The World Trade Organization ruled against the United States when it had the tougher standard, and Congress repealed it to avoid punishing tariff penalties.
That created a loophole that allows beef from livestock born and raised in foreign countries to be labeled “Product of the U.S.A.” as long as the beef undergoes additional processing at a processing plant in the U.S.
South Dakota’s Sens. Mike Rounds and John Thune want to close that loophole. They are trying to pass the “U.S. Beef Integrity Act” to make certain that the “Product of the U.S.A.” label only goes to beef and beef products exclusively derived from one or more animals born, raised and slaughtered in the United States.
“Today’s beef labeling rules are misleading and allow beef and beef products from cattle born, raised and slaughtered outside of the U.S. to be labeled as U.S. beef,” Rounds said. “This must be fixed for both consumers and our hardworking producers.”
“For South Dakota ranchers, ‘Product of the U.S.A’ is far more than a label. It’s a sense of pride, and it represents a way of life,” said Thune. “This legislation is straightforward and common sense, two qualities that are often lacking in Washington and are made up for by South Dakotans and their hardworking spirit. It’s with our ranchers and agriculture community in mind that I’m proud to support this bill to give consumers more accurate information about what’s on the grocery store shelf and help showcase America’s beef products – the best in the world – as clearly and as proudly as possible.”
While opting for a congressional resolution on the country of origin labeling (COOL), Montana’s Democrat Senator Jon Tester is on the same track as the two South Dakota Republicans.
Tester introduced a resolution supporting the reestablishing of a COOL program. The United States Cattlemen’s Association said Tester’s resolution “puts for a firm statement of support for COOL, which was repealed in 2015.
“We’re incredibly grateful for Sen. Tester continuing to champion Truth in Labeling efforts through the introduction of this resolution,” a USCA statement said. It urged other senators to follow Tester’s lead and stand with American consumers and ranching families.
COOL reached the public stage through the 2004 and 2008 Farm Bills, but it was not fully implemented until May 2013. It was only hen that foreign labels on imported beef and pork had to be retained through the retail sale.
The Ranchers Cattlemen Action Legal Fund or R-CALF also praised the Tester resolution. “Since COOL’s repeal, consumers have been unable to differentiate foreign beef from U.S. beef and U.S. cattle producers have been unable to compete against increasing influx of foreign beef and cattle,” the R-CALF statement said.
Meanwhile, in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressmen. Roger Marshall (R-KS) and Anthony Brindisi (D-NY) have introduced the Real MEAT (Marketing Edible Artificials Truthfully) Act of 2019.
Specifically, The Real Meat Act will:
SEN. ROUNDS: Only U.S. Beef Should be Labeled as a “Product of the U.S.A.”
By U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.)
via Rapid City Journal (SD) - Nov 1, 2019
South Dakota and American cattle producers raise the best beef in the world. Many families specifically seek out these high-quality products when choosing what beef to purchase at the grocery store. However, some families may not realize that not all meat labeled “Product of the U.S.A.” is actually beef from cattle raised within the United States.
Current federal regulations include a loophole that allows beef from livestock born, raised and slaughtered in foreign countries to be labeled “Product of the U.S.A.” as long as the beef undergoes additional processing at a plant in the U.S. This is wrong.
Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) and I recently introduced legislation to address this issue. The U.S. Beef Integrity Act would make certain that the “Product of the U.S.A.” label only goes on beef and beef products exclusively derived from one or more animals born, raised and slaughtered here in the United States. We also wrote a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue in support of administrative changes that would prevent beef from cattle born, raised and slaughtered in foreign countries from being labeled as a “Product of the U.S.A.” This change would be a win for both consumers and our hardworking cattle ranchers here in the U.S.
Consumers deserve transparency when they’re purchasing beef. When South Dakota families purchase beef labeled “Product of the U.S.A.,” they should know with certainty that it is coming from one of our top-quality producers. This does not mean we should close the door to other options as well – far from it. I’m glad we have a vast array of choices when we do our grocery shopping. Our bill simply closes the misleading labeling loophole so you’ll never be unsure where your beef came from when you’re at the grocery store meat counter.
When consumers have greater choice, it results in more innovation in the market and fairer prices. Earlier this year, I introduced legislation that would...
Rachel Gabel for The Fence Post
via Tri-State Livestock News - October 31, 2019
Labels are all the rage these days.
U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) introduced a resolution Oct. 30, 2019, supporting the reestablishment of a country-of-origin labeling (COOL) program which was repealed in 2015. According to a press release from the USCA, the introduction follows months of coordination and collaboration by the Senator, pulling together consumer and producer stakeholders to push forth this labeling solution.
United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) Director Emeritus issued the following statement:
“Consumers are increasingly seeking out more information on the products they choose to feed their families. The U.S. produces the highest quality, safest, and most eco-conscious beef in the world. U.S. cattle producers deserve the opportunity to showcase their product in the retail marketplace.
“We’re incredibly grateful for Senator Jon Tester continuing to champion Truth in Labeling efforts through the introduction of this resolution. We ask other Senators to follow his lead and choose to stand with American consumers and ranching families.”
The resolution recognizes that U.S. farmers and ranchers raise the best meat in the world, consumers should have the right to knowingly buy American products, and all stakeholders benefit from transparency. The resolution goes on to say that Congress supported COOL in the 2008 Farm Bill because 87 percent of consumers want to know the country of origin of the meat they purchase and its repeal reduced the competitive advantage of products born, raised, and slaughtered in the U.S. The resolution reads that American food safety standards are higher than in other countries and foreign commodities, including beef and pork, are misleadingly labeled “Product of USA” if they are packed or processed in the US. Technological advancements, the resolution said, are in place to accurately and efficiently identify the origin of beef and pork without costly segregation, giving producers and consumers the ability to differentiate between American and foreign products. Finally, it reads that “Congress supports legislation to reinstate County of Origin labeling for pork and beef to allow consumers to make an informed and free choice about where their food comes.
R-CALF USA applauded the effort and said the 2013 implementation of COOL coincided with stronger cattle prices.
“Senator Tester’s resolution calling on Congress to reinstate COOL for beef and pork is the start we have been waiting for to help us encourage Congress to once again provide us the tools we need to compete in our own domestic market,” said Mike Schultz, the group’s COOL Committee Chair.
R-CALF USA has been actively urging Congress and President Trump not to pass the USMCA (new NAFTA agreement) unless mandatory COOL is included.
On Oct. 23, USCA filed petition for rulemaking with the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to address “Product of the U.S.A.” and “Made in the U.S.A.” claims on U.S. beef. The petition calls for an end to the practice of labeling imported beef as “Product of the United States” after it has been processed or “handled” at a USDA-inspected facility.
“USCA contends that voluntary labels indicating ‘Made in USA,’ ‘Product of USA’ or similar content should be limited to beef from cattle born, raised, and harvested in the United States,” said their news release...