R-Calf Group Applauds Start of Congressional Effort to Reinstate COOL for Beef
Billings, Mont. - R-CALF USA applauds today's introduction by Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) a congressional resolution calling on the rest of Congress to "reinstate County-of-Origin labeling for pork and beef to allow consumers to make an informed and free choice about where their food comes from."
Labeling (COOL) was passed by Congress in 2002 and required retailers to affix
labels denoting the country of origin of many food products, including beef.
However, COOL was not fully implemented for beef until May of 2013.
its 2013 implementation for beef, the COOL law mandated that the foreign labels
on all imported beef be retained through retail sale, meaning all the way to
the consumer. It also required all beef from animals slaughtered in the U.S. to
be labeled as to where the animal had been born, raised and slaughtered.
these two essential provisions, consumers were accurately informed as to which
beef originated exclusively in foreign countries, in one or more countries, and
which beef was exclusively produced by U.S. cattle farmers and ranchers right
here in the United States," said R-CALF USA COOL Committee Chair Mike Schultz.
said the 2013 implementation of COOL coincided with stronger cattle prices that
helped strengthen America's shrinking cattle industry.
also said that COOL's implementation triggered an all-out assault on the COOL
law by the trade group representing the largest U.S. beef packers, the National
Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA), and the NCBA's counterparts in Canada and
Mexico who, together, filed an unsuccessful lawsuit in an attempt to repeal the
the lawsuit reaffirmed the constitutionality of COOL, the countries of Canada
and Mexico, which did not want American consumers to know that significant
volumes of beef sold in the U.S. was imported, succeeded in convincing the
unelected and unappointed World Trade Organization (WTO) to rule that COOL for
beef violated global trade rules.
late 2015, the U.S. Congress caved in to the WTO and repealed COOL for beef and
pork. Since COOL's repeal, consumers have been unable to differentiate foreign
beef from U.S. beef and U.S. cattle producers have been unable to compete
against the increasing influx of foreign beef and cattle.
Tester's resolution calling on Congress to reinstate COOL for beef and pork is
the start we have been waiting for to help us encourage Congress to once again
provide us the tools we need to compete in our own domestic market," said
today's by-partisan resolution supports and compliments President Trump's
directive that Americans start buying and hiring Americans," Schultz
pointed out adding, "Until COOL for beef is once again the law of the
land, consumers have no way of helping America's cattle farmers and ranchers by
buying American Beef."
Schultz said calls are needed now to get every U.S. Senator to support Senator Tester's resolution to reinstate COOL for pork and beef. He urged both consumers and producers to contact their U.S. Senators' offices in their state and also to contact their Washington, D.C. offices at 201-224-3121, and asking for their Senators by name.