Senators from Northern Ag territory have come together to reintroduce a resolution to support Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (MCOOL) for beef products in the United States. Jon Tester (D-MT) and Mike Rounds (R-SD) were joined by Steve Daines (R-MT), John Thune (R-SD) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) in reintroducing the resolution.
Senator Tester said, “It’s no secret that Montana ranchers raise the finest beef in the world, but American consumers have no way of knowing if the steak they’re getting at the supermarket comes from Absarokee or Australia. It’s clear that Americans want to buy American-made products if they have the option, and country of origin labeling gives Montana producers the upper hand by showing that their cattle were raised within our borders, not halfway around the world.”
“Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling for beef fits within our discussions on how to improve food security, transparency for consumers and supply chain issues, all of which have been highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic, threatening both producers and consumers,” Senator Rounds says. “This is not only misleading to consumers when they purchase meat at the grocery store, it puts our producers at a competitive disadvantage when marketing their products. This legislation is the broadest and strongest bipartisan support we’ve seen for MCOOL since it was eliminated in 2015, and it begins the critical and necessary discussion on food security in America. This is a win-win for producers and consumers. Our goal should be to gain support and include it in must-pass COVID-19 legislation, both of which will encourage the president’s action.”
“During these unprecedented and challenging times, Montana producers and ranchers are struggling to keep their operations going,” Daines said. “That’s why it is important we pursue negotiations with out trading partners to include country of origin labeling. We must support ranchers in Montana and across the U.S. and ensure that only beef made and slaughtered in America receive the Product of the USA label.”
COOL regulations are currently in effect for several products, including chicken; lamb; goat; farm-raised and wild caught fish and shellfish; and most nuts. In 2015, Congress repealed the law requiring the labels for beef.
Montana Stockgrowers Association came out in support of the resolution. MSGA President Fred Wacker said, “Our members have expressed enormous support for a program which allows for the preservation and protection of beef using the ‘USA’ label and allows consumer to have a clear choice between ‘USA’ beef and ‘Non-USA’ beef.”
Office of Montana Senator Jon Tester
Office of South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds
Office of Montana Senator Steve Daines
Montana Stockgrowers Association
Northern Ag Network