National Farmers Organization Favors COOL Re-instatement
May 9, 2022 AMES, Iowa— National Farmers Organization’s ongoing support of mandatory Country of Origin Labeling continues with recent U.S. House legislation. Congressmen Lance Gooden (R-Tex.) and Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), introduced a bill for MCOOL in late March which would help consumers differentiate beef produced domestically from the nearly 3 billion annual pounds of beef imports. Canada, Mexico and New Zealand are the largest beef importers.
“National Farmers supports legislation in both the House and Senate to reinstate mandatory Country of Origin Labeling,” said National Farmers Legislative Coordinator Gene Paul. “This country imports beef from more than 20 foreign countries and we applaud legislator’s intent to restore mandatory COOL so U.S. producers can compete against the growing tide of undifferentiated products imported into our domestic markets.”
Representative Gooden said American cattle ranchers are being undercut by foreign competition because current labeling standards allow imported beef to be marked as made in the United States if it is only packaged here. “Our trade policies should promote American-made beef and put the hard-working cattle ranchers in the United States first,” said Rep. Gooden.
Last year in the Senate, the American Beef Labeling Act of 2021, S. 2716, was introduced by Senators John Thune (R-S.Dak.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Mike Rounds (R-S.Dak.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.). Rolled out in September, 2021, it tackles the same beef import issues the house measure addresses.
“It is a straightforward issue, simply label beef originating from a foreign country as just that,” said National Farmers Paul. As Americans continue to increase their support of farmers and ranchers here, it makes sense to restore legislation that was repealed in 2015,” Paul said.
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