House introduces mandatory country of origin bill

Photo courtesy of R-CALF USA

From staff reports

Congressional representative Lance Gooden (R-Tex.) and Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) have introduced companion legislation to the Senate Mandatory country of origin for beef bill that would enforce mandatory country of origin labeling in the United States. The Senate version, titled the American Beef Labeling Act of 2021 now has 10 bipartisan co-sponsors and broad support from not only the cattle industry but also from manufacturing, consumer and labor groups. In data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the United States imports 135,000 head of cattle from Canada and Mexico, along with cattle that are imported from 20 different countries. “American cattle producers are being unfairly displaced out of their own market,” said R-CALF USA Field Director Karina Jones. “We have got to implement MCOOL immediately to give our cattle producers leverage at the meat counter and the American consumer the accurate information that they deserve. Without MCOOL, we will import ourselves out of a domestic market.” 

“It is critical that American consumers can make informed decisions about the meat they buy. Consumers should be able to know that they are truly supporting American farmers and ranchers from labels at the store,” said Rep. Khanna. “Right now, consumers and producers are hurting from a lack of transparency in the marketplace. I’m glad to partner with Rep. Gooden on this bipartisan bill to reinstate common-sense mandatory country of origin labeling.”

R-CALF USA and the Texas Animal Protein Producers Prosperity and Security group released a joint statement: “We applaud Rep. Gooden and Khanna’s introduction of the American Beef Labeling Act in the U.S. House. This bill will empower consumers to make informed choices by requiring country of origin labels on beef purchased in grocery stores. Consumers should be able to choose beef produced under the United States’ stringent production and safety standards, and we trust American consumers will choose beef produced exclusively in America.”

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