|WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) joined U.S. Senators John Thune (R-SD), Jon Tester (D-MT), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) in reintroducing the American Beef Labeling Act which would reinstate mandatory country of origin labeling (MCOOL) for beef. Wyoming is home to more than 100 cattle operations with 72,000 head of cattle that are born, raised, and finished on Wyoming ranches.“
Consumers want to make informed choices about the food they purchase and they deserve to know where it comes from. In order to ensure that, we need mandatory labeling rules,” said Senator Lummis.“Wyoming ranchers produce some of the highest quality beef in the world and deserve to have a competitive advantage when selling their beef in a competing market with foreign-raised products from Canada, Argentina, and elsewhere.”
This legislation would require the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), in consultation with the secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to develop a World Trade Organization-compliant means of reinstating MCOOL for beef within one year of enactment. USTR would have six months to develop a reinstatement plan followed by a six-month window to implement it.
Under our current beef labeling system, imported beef that is neither born nor raised in the United States, but simply finished here, can be labeled as a product from the United States. Countries like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Brazil are the top importers of beef to the United States, and they can sell their products under a U.S. label.
To read the full text of the bill, click here.