Right to Know Act
Tim Johnson is introducing the Consumer Right to Know Act of 2001 (SB280)
It would: Amend the Agricultural Marketing Act of
1946 to require country-of-origin labeling for beef, lamb, pork, fruits, vegetables and
other perishable commodities: Require that in order for meat (beef, pork, or lamb) to be
designated at the retail level as originating from the U.S., the meat must come from an
animal born, raised, and slaughtered in the U.S.; Require retailers, at the final point of
sale, to inform consumers as to the country-of origin of covered
commoditiesincluding beef, lamb, pork, and perishable agricultural commodities;
Require that in order for fruits and vegetables to be designated at the retail level as
originating from the U.S., the product must be exclusively produced in the U.S.; Require
the Secretary of Agriculture to partner with States in enforcing the labeling
R-CALF USA Submits Cattle Section for
2001 Farm Bill
Dennis McDonald, Trade Action Committee Chair, Melville, Mt, for R-CALF United
Stockgrowers of America presented R-CALFs proposal for a Cattle Chapter in the 2001
Farm Bill before the Senate Agricultural Committee hearings April 25 in D.C. Due to the
growing complexity and fluctuating nature of todays cattle industry, R-CALF
USAs membership voted to introduce a new section in the 2001 Farm Bill to deal
specifically with cattle production.
R-CALFs proposal includes a market-oriented
ranch safety net that does not require any federal expenditures. The safety net provision
recommends the use of Variable Import Quotas that would be triggered when imports exceed a
pre-established, market-depressing level.
The largest section of the Cattle Chapter
concerns trade. Requiring country of origin labeling, restricting the use of USDA grade
stamping, maintaining tariff schedules on live cattle and beef until trading partners
reduce their tariffs to the same levels as the United States are just a few of the 12
specific recommendations R-Calf USA is proposing.
The Cattle Chapter also includes an eight-step
plan for the enforcement of anti-trust laws to impart a proper balance in the beef
production chain, from Producer to the consumer.
R-CALF also proposes more flexibility for USDA
personnel charged with administering federal credit programs in their local offices.
R-CALF proposes that the local officer be given
decision making authority to pool the funds available to his or her office and allocate
those funds on the basis of the unique needs and priorities of the country.