SD Ranchers unhappy with Rounds' MCOOL resolution


By Chiu-yi Lin, KOTA TV (SD)

May 21, 2020


RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV)- American cattle growers have been asking for "Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling" on beef products, saying that the nation's four major meat packers have been mixing foreign meat in American beef. Even though Senator Mike Rounds co-sponsored a resolution to support the labeling, many American cattle producers don't think a resolution is helpful. "It's not a law," says Kenny Fox, a South Dakota rancher.


"Both senators said they won't vote for it...,they support the resolution which aggregates me why support the resolution if you won't vote for it," says Mike Fuller, who operates a feed yard in Onida S.D.


A resolution is not a bill, and since it doesn't legally require the packers who processed the meat to label where it came from, they can continue to use foreign sources, which is cheaper. "They use drugs we don't use. NFL tells their players not to eat beef unless where they cam from because if you eat Mexican beef you can test positive for steroids that aren't legal in the United States," Fuller says.


Unclear as to why, the major meat packers claim to have a lot in their cold storage so they don't bid on American cattle, but that raises questions. "Another excuse they gave us, a smokescreen if you will, is they have so much beef in cold storage, that they just can't process right now, because there is so much in cold storage the question on producers' mind right now is where is that beef that's in cold storage, because that should be supplementing grocery stores while meat plants are shut down."


Meanwhile consumers are paying record high prices for beef. "I think immediately absolutely these imports need to be shut down. It doesn't make any sense to keep pouring meat in here when we have all these cattle here." Liz May, a cattle producer who also runs a grocery store, is frustrated with the current situation, where she's surrounded by quality local animals, but these animals have no market and everything seems to be against the stock growers...


more, including video report [2:12 min.]