Thursday, January 26, 2023

Livestock Groups Urge Congress to Restore Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling

by Colter Brown

50 cattle, farm, rural and consumer groups sent a joint letter to U.S. Senate and House members who, during the last session of Congress, cosponsored the American Beef Labeling Act that restores mandatory country of origin labeling (MCOOL) for beef.

The letter expressed the groups’ gratitude for the congressional members’ leadership and support of the American Beef Labeling Act during the last session of Congress and urged them to reintroduce the measure in the new Congress that started on January 3, 2023.  In their letter, the groups pledged their support to assist Congress in the swift enactment of the bill.

Referencing a recent poll conducted by Morning Consult, the letter states that 86% of American voters favor the American Beef Labeling Act and that it is a commonsense policy that has remained popular with the American people since Congress rescinded country of origin labeling for beef in 2015.

The letter was addressed to the American Beef Labeling Act’s bipartisan group of Senate cosponsors:  Sens. John Thune (R-SD), Jon Tester (D-MT), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Cory Booker (D-NJ), John Hoeven (R-ND), Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), John Barrasso (R-WY), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY); and to its bipartisan group of U.S. Representatives: Reps. Lance Gooden (R-TX), Ro Khanna (D-CA), and Morgan Griffith (R-VA).

The letter reveals the objective of the American Beef Labeling Act is to ensure that beef produced from U.S. born and raised cattle is distinguished in the marketplace and that consumers have accurate information as to the origins of the beef they purchase for their families.

Groups that joined the letter include: American Economic Liberties Project, American Grassfed Association, Buckeye Quality Beef Association (OH), Campaign for Contract Agriculture Reform, Campaign for Family Farms and the Environment, Cattle Producers of Washington, Coalition for a Prosperous America, Colorado Independent CattleGrowers Association, Consumer Federation of America, Dakota Rural Action, Farm Action Fund, Farm Aid, Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, Food & Water Watch, Government Accountability Project Food Integrity Campaign, Hometown Credit Union in Kulm, ND, Independent Beef Association of North Dakota, Independent Cattlemen of Missouri, Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska, Independent Cattlemen of Wyoming, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, Kansas Cattlemen’s Association, Kansas Farmers Union, Missouri Rural Crisis Center, Montana Cattlemen’s Association, Montana Farmers Union, National Dairy Producers Organization, National Family Farm Coalition, National Farmers Union, National Latino Farmers & Ranchers Trade Association, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, National Women Involved in Farm Economics (WIFE), Nebraska Chapter of WIFE, Nebraska Farmers Union, Northern Plains Resource Council, Oglala Sioux Livestock & Landowners Association, Oklahoma Independent Stockgrowers Association, Organization for Competitive Markets, Pennsylvania Farmers Union, R-CALF USA, Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA, Rural Vermont, South Dakota Stockgrowers Association, Southern Colorado Livestock Association, Stevens County Cattlemen’s Association (WA), Texas Animal Protein Producers Prosperity & Security Group (TAPPPS Group), United Food & Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), United States Cattlemen’s Association, and Western Organization of Resource Councils.

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R-CALF

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