For Immediate Release: September 8, 2021
Contact: R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard
Phone: 406-252-2516; email@example.com
Billings, Mont. – Today, Senators John Thune (R-S.D.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Mike Rounds, (R-S.D.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) jointly announced they are introducing a bill in the U.S. Senate to reestablish mandatory country-of-origin labeling (MCOOL) for beef. The legislation will reinsert “beef” and “ground beef” into the current MCOOL law that requires country-of-origin labels on many food commodities, including meat from chickens, sheep, goats, and deer.
The legislation, however, delays implementation of MCOOL for beef for up to 12 months after enactment to provide the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) 6 months to develop the means of reinstating MCOOL for beef in a manner that complies with applicable rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The initial 6-month period is then followed by a second 6-month period during which the USTR and Secretary may implement MCOOL in accordance with the means they had developed.
If MCOOL for beef has not already been implemented by the USTR and the Secretary one-year after enactment of the legislation, the legislation shall take effect on that one-year anniversary.
R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard said Senators Thune, Tester, Rounds, and Booker’s introduction of the bipartisan MCOOL bill for beef demonstrates their responsiveness to U.S. cattle producers and consumers alike who have urged Congress to reinstate labels on beef that inform consumers as to where the animal from which the beef was derived was born, raised, and harvested.
“This Thune/Tester/Rounds/Booker MCOOL bill is critically needed to restore competition to the nation’s broken cattle and beef markets marked by inflated beef prices paid by consumers and depressed cattle prices paid to U.S. cattle producers.
“Only with MCOOL for beef can cattle producers compete in their own domestic market where packers and importers – and not cattle producers and consumers – currently decide how much foreign beef they will import into the U.S. market to displace domestic beef production and reduce demand for cattle exclusively born and raised in the United States.
“We are profoundly appreciative of Senators Thune, Tester, Rounds, and Booker for taking the lead in representing the interests of their respective cattle producing and beef consuming constituents by introducing this critically important MCOOL bill,” Bullard said.
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R-CALF USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund United Stockgrowers of America) is the largest producer-only lobbying and trade association representing U.S. cattle producers. It is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle industry. Visit www.r-calfusa.com or, call 406-252-2516 for more information.