USCA applauds Senate support of COOL; urges support for US producers

Farm Forum

The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) applauds announcement by U. S. Senators John Hoeven (R-ND) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) on July 23 in the release of their bi-partisan bill “Voluntary Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) Act of 2015 and Trade Enhancement Act ”. USCA extends its appreciation to those Members cosponsoring the legislation: Senators John Thune (R-S.D.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).

USCA President Danni Beer commented on the legislation, “USCA remains in firm support of mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL). However, given recent rulings at the World Trade Organization (WTO), we appreciate this bi-partisan legislation which maintains the integrity of COOL when utilized on a voluntary basis. COOL opponents have lauded full repeal as the only answer and avenue available on COOL; this is not the case. The Voluntary COOL Act of 2015 provides a constructive path forward on the issue that supports both U.S. producers and consumers.”

“The recently released University of Arkansas study on COOL clearly proves consumer preference for meat products that include origin information. Contrary to sentiments reported by COOL-opponents, the study states that consumers prefer the ability to choose products when provided with origin information. Ongoing calls to repeal COOL and compromise the integrity behind the “A” label, products born, raised and processed in the U.S., are left with little standing based on the study’s findings.”

“Without COOL, the ability for U.S. producers to distinguish their product amidst the growing number of international imports is lost. COOL maintains the integrity behind products labeled “Product of the U.S.” and with it, maintains consumer confidence in our industry.”

“Senators Hoeven, Stabenow, Thune, Klobuchar, Grassley, Heitkamp, Enzi and Brown have taken a stand today in support of U.S. cattle producers. Ranchers across the country must urge their own Senators to follow their lead and act on their behalf on COOL. We must preserve COOL, as a program for both producers and consumers.”