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Blog | January 19, 2023

Farm Aid Joins a Broad Coalition to Call for Transparency in Meat Labeling

Last week, Farm Aid joined with 49 cattle, farm, rural and consumer groups to send a joint letter to US Senate and House members who, during the last session of Congress, cosponsored the American Beef Labeling Act, which would have restored mandatory country of origin labeling (MCOOL) for beef.

It’s time to bring transparency back to the meat counter and fairness to US ranchers and farms!

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. (People taking action through Farm Aid’s advocacy tools sent nearly 2,000 emails to senators in support of the bill last year.)

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Beef Labeling Act and that it is a commonsense policy that has remained popular with the American people since Congress rescinded country of origin labeling for beef in 2015.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:

  • 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)
  • Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)

And to its bipartisan group of U.S. Representatives:

  • Lance Gooden (R-TX)
  • Ro Khanna (D-CA)
  • Morgan Griffith (R-VA).

The objective of the American Beef Labeling Act is to ensure that beef produced from US 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. Mandatory labeling of beef and pork and other farm products was passed as part of the 2002 Farm Bill and the 2008 Farm Bill. A dispute at the World Trade Organization forced the repeal of MCOOL in 2015 for beef and pork products, a decision that favored corporate meat processors over people. The repeal left eaters in the dark about where the beef and pork products come from, and it doesn’t allow grocery shoppers to make a choice to support US farmers and ranchers. For farmers and ranchers, the repeal makes them less competitive in the marketplace. It’s time to bring transparency back to the meat counter and fairness to US ranchers and farms!

We hope to bring you an update soon that the bill has been reintroduced.

See the full list of groups that joined the letter and read it below:

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