USCA: Oppose H.R. 2393; protect COOL

Farm Forum

USCA — The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) issued the following statement on the passage by the House Agriculture Committee of H.R. 2393, a bill to repeal country of origin labeling (COOL). The following statement may be attributed to USCA President Danni Beer:

“This legislation is a gross overreach of congressional authority. Not only does the proposed legislation attempt to circumvent an ongoing case at the World Trade Organization (WTO), regarding COOL, it also extends the criteria by which to repeal COOL. The addition of chicken to the list of products to be affected by the repeal is disturbing since chicken was not a part of the original WTO case filed by Canada and Mexico against COOL. Opponents of COOL are encouraging Congress to limit consumer information and are exploiting a ruling by the WTO before the international trade process has been completed. Congress does not need to insert itself until statutory action is necessary. For USCA, the centerpiece of COOL has been, and always will be, the consumers’ right to information about how and where their food is produced and U. S. ranchers’ right to differentiate their product from that of a generic commodity in which the identity of U. S. beef would be lost forever.”

“USCA thanks the Members of the House Agriculture Committee who voted against the bill. Ranking Member Colling Peterson (D-MN); Rep. Timothy J. Walz (D-MN); Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM); Rep. McGovern (D-MA); Rep. Ann Kuster (D-NH) and Rep. Rick Nolan (D-MN) all showed their support today for U.S. cattle producers and we appreciate their vote for COOL.”

“Congress will recess for a week on Friday, May 22 for the Memorial holiday when members will be in their home states and districts. I encourage constituents everywhere to make contact with their elected delegations and let them know that you expect them to oppose H.R. 2393 and refrain from any premature intervention in COOL. There is no more appropriate time than the Memorial holiday week to expect our elected officials to stand their ground for our sovereignty and our right to govern ourselves, just as Americans, for generations, have stood their ground to protect the freedoms and rights we cherish so much in this country.”