In this file:

 

·         Busy week for meat labeling policy

South Dakota senators introduce meat labeling bill

Montana senator introduces a reinstatement of COOL

 

·         Beef labelling legislation put forward by US senators

… the US Beef Integrity Act, seeks to amend the Federal Meat Inspection Act so that the ‘Product of the USA’ label only goes on beef and beef products exclusively derived from one or more animals born, raised and slaughtered in the United States…

 

·         Bill specifies USA beef label requirements

·         Ranch Group Applauds Start of Congressional Effort to Reinstate COOL for Beef

… introduction by Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) a congressional resolution calling on the rest of Congress 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 from”…

 

·         USCA Applauds Montana Senator Jon Tester for Congressional Resolution on COOL

 

 

 

 

Busy week for meat labeling policy

 

Carrie Veselka, Progressive Cattle

31 October 2019

 

South Dakota senators introduce meat labeling bill

 

Sens. John Thune (R-South Dakota) and Mike Rounds (R-South Dakota) introduced the U.S. Beef Integrity Act on Oct. 30, a bill that would ensure the “Product of the USA” label only goes to beef and beef products exclusively derived from one or more animals born, raised and slaughtered in the U.S.

 

Currently, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) does not require that beef be born, raised and slaughtered in the U.S. in order to carry a Product of the USA label. This loophole 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.

 

“Our cattle producers offer some of the highest-quality beef in the world. Consumers deserve to know where their food is coming from,” Sen. Rounds said in a statement. “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. This must be fixed for both consumers and our hardworking producers.”

 

“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,” said Sen. Thune in a statement.

 

Industry livestock groups applauded the senators’ actions:

 

U.S. Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) Truth in Labeling Committee Chairman Danni Beer: "Despite the repeal of mandatory country-of-origin labeling in 2015, packers and retailers are still labeling beef products with origin claims. USCA finds this practice abhorrent, as it rides on the coattails of the high-quality product U.S. ranchers produce. USCA is working several fronts on truth in labeling – addressing both nonlabeled and improperly labeled beef and alternative protein products. Our goal is to immediately close this loophole, which allows for imported product to be labeled as U.S. beef, and then continue pushing for the reestablishment of a country-of-origin labeling program."

 

South Dakota Stockgrowers Executive Director James Halverson: “This legislation ensures honesty in beef labeling, and that’s something all ranchers, consumers and organizations should be supportive of. Our goal is to ensure that products from the USA are clearly labeled; it’s just that simple.”

 

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) vice president, government affairs, Ethan Lane:

 

“NCBA understands that the practices alleged in the letter from Senator Rounds and Senator Thune are a concern to cattle producers, and we share a commitment to clear and truthful labeling. In August, in response to a proposal brought forward by our grassroots members, NCBA formed a working group to examine the prevalence of the alleged mislabeling practices. We are in the process of gathering information related to current industry labeling practices so we can fully understand the scope of the issue as we identify solutions that work for the industry...

 

Montana senator introduces a reinstatement of COOL

 

Montana Sen. Jon Tester introduced a resolution to reinstate country-of-origin labeling (COOL), following months of working with consumer and producer stakeholders. 

 

The main aim of the resolution is to “support legislation to reinstate country-of-origin labeling for pork and beef to allow consumers to make an informed and free choice about where their food comes from.”

 

USCA Director Emeritus Leo McDonnell 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 ecoconscious beef in the world. U.S. cattle producers deserve the opportunity to showcase their product in the retail marketplace...

 

more

https://www.progressivecattle.com/news/industry-news/busy-week-for-meat-labeling-policy

 

 

Beef labelling legislation put forward by US senators

 

By Aidan Fortune, GlobalMeatNews

31-Oct-2019

 

Legislation has been proposed in the US to change how beef produced in the country is labeled.

 

Put forward by South Dakota senators, the bill, the US Beef Integrity Act, seeks to amend the Federal Meat Inspection Act so that the ‘Product of the USA’ label only goes on beef and beef products exclusively derived from one or more animals born, raised and slaughtered in the United States. They believe that the current beef labeling rules are misleading and have created a loophole to allow beef and beef products from cattle born, raised and slaughtered outside of the US to be labeled as US beef

 

In a statement, US Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD) said: “Our cattle producers offer some of the highest-quality beef in the world. Consumers deserve to know where their food is coming from. When South Dakota families purchase beef labeled ‘Product of the USA,’ they should know with certainty that it is coming from one of our top-quality producers. Today’s beef labeling rules are misleading and allow beef and beef products from cattle born, raised and slaughtered outside of the US to be labeled as US beef. This must be fixed for both consumers and our hardworking producers.”​

 

US Senator John Thune (R-SD) added: “For South Dakota ranchers, ‘Product of the USA’ is far more than a label. It’s a sense of pride, and it represents a way of life. 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.”​

 

Industry support​ ...

 

more

https://www.globalmeatnews.com/Article/2019/10/31/Beef-labelling-legislation-put-forward-by-US-senators

 

 

Bill specifies USA beef label requirements

 

By Tom Steever, Brownfield 

October 31, 2019

 

Cattlemen’s groups are divided about the introduction of the U.S. Beef Integrity Act by South Dakota Republican Senators Mike Rounds and John Thune. The bill would require that “Product of the U.S.A.” labels be allowed only on beef derived from one or more animals born, raised and slaughtered in the U.S.

 

The US Cattlemen’s Association is pleased with the proposed legislation saying it will close loopholes allowing foreign beef to be labeled a product of the U.S.

 

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says it’s seeking information on beef labeling practices, but does not support “a rush to more government regulation.”

 

Currently beef from livestock born and raised outside the U.S. can be labeled “Product of the U.S.A.”...

 

more

https://brownfieldagnews.com/news/bill-specifies-usa-beef-label-requirements/

 

 

Ranch Group Applauds Start of Congressional Effort to Reinstate COOL for Beef

 

Source: R-CALF USA

Oct 31, 2019

 

Billings, Mont. – R-CALF USA applauds today’s introduction by Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) a congressional resolution calling on the rest of Congress 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 from.”

 

Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) was passed by Congress in 2002 and required retailers to affix labels denoting the country of origin of many food products, including beef. However, COOL was not fully implemented for beef until May of 2013.

 

Upon its 2013 implementation for beef, the COOL law mandated that the foreign labels on all imported beef be retained through retail sale, meaning all the way to the consumer. It also required all beef from animals slaughtered in the U.S. to be labeled as to where the animal had been born, raised and slaughtered.

 

“With these two essential provisions, consumers were accurately informed as to which beef originated exclusively in foreign countries, in one or more countries, and which beef was exclusively produced by U.S. cattle farmers and ranchers right here in the United States,” said R-CALF USA COOL Committee Chair Mike Schultz.

 

Schultz said the 2013 implementation of COOL coincided with stronger cattle prices that helped strengthen America’s shrinking cattle industry.

 

He also said that COOL’s implementation triggered an all-out assault on the COOL law by the trade group representing the largest U.S. beef packers, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), and the NCBA’s counterparts in Canada and Mexico who, together, filed an unsuccessful lawsuit in an attempt to repeal the COOL law.

 

Though the lawsuit reaffirmed the constitutionality of COOL, the countries of Canada and Mexico, which did not want American consumers to know that significant volumes of beef sold in the U.S. was imported, succeeded in convincing the unelected and unappointed World Trade Organization (WTO) to rule that COOL for beef violated global trade rules.

 

In late 2015, the U.S. Congress caved in to the WTO and repealed COOL for beef and pork. 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 the increasing influx of foreign beef and cattle.

 

“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 Schultz.

 

“Importantly, today’s by-partisan resolution supports and compliments President Trump’s directive that Americans start buying and hiring Americans,” Schultz pointed out adding, “Until COOL for beef is once again the law of the land, consumers have no way of helping America’s cattle farmers and ranchers by buying American Beef.”

 

Schultz said calls are needed now to get every U.S. Senator to support Senator Tester’s resolution to reinstate COOL for pork and beef. He urged both consumers and producers to contact their U.S. Senators’ offices in their state and also to contact their Washington, D.C. offices at 202-224-3121, and asking for their Senators by name.

 

# # #

 

R-CALF USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America) is the largest producer-only cattle trade association in the United States. It is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle industry. For more information, visit www.r-calfusa.com or, call 406-252-2516. 

 

 

USCA Applauds Montana Senator Jon Tester for Congressional Resolution on COOL

 

Source: United States Cattlemen's Association (USCA)

Oct 31, 2019

 

(WASHINGTON) - Today, U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) introduced a resolution supporting the reestablishment of a country-of-origin labeling (COOL) program. The resolution puts forth a firm statement of support for COOL, which was repealed in 2015.

 

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 will follow his lead and choose to stand with American consumers and ranching families.”

 

The full resolution reads:

 

WHEREAS the U.S. farmers and ranchers raise the best meat in the world;

 

WHEREAS Americans should have the right to knowingly buy made in American products;

 

WHEREAS American farmers, ranchers, workers and consumers benefit from transparency on the origin of food;

 

WHEREAS Congress overwhelmingly supported Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) in the 2008 Farm Bill because 87 percent of consumers want to know the country of origin of their meat;

 

WHEREAS in 2015, Congress repealed the County-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) law for beef and pork, reducing the competitive advantage of products born, raised, and slaughtered in the U.S.;

 

WHEREAS there is no standardized definition that clarifies truth in labeling, disadvantaging American producers;

 

WHEREAS Congress supports American products, and consumers deserve the right to know where their food comes from;

 

WHEREAS the United States has the highest phytosanitary standards in the world while other countries place less emphasis on food safety;

 

WHEREAS foreign commodities, like beef and pork, are misleadingly labeled “Product of USA” if they are processed or packed in the United States;

 

WHEREAS technological advancements make it possible to accurately and efficiently identify the origin of beef and pork without costly segregation of imported and domestic commodities.

 

WHEREAS this gives producers and consumers the ability to identify true American product from foreign imported meat;

 

WHEREAS County-of-Origin labeling is good for farmers, ranchers, workers, and packers, because it allows them to identify their products as born and raised in the United States;

 

Resolved – 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 from.

 

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Established in 2007, USCA is committed to enhancing and expanding the cattle industry’s voice on Capitol Hill.  USCA has a full-time presence in Washington, giving cattle producers across the country a strong influence on policy development.  For more information go to www.uscattlemen.org.