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Volume 7, Issue 4  -  November, 2001

Kansas Cattlemens Association

Barbwire Press Release of 10-31-01

WASHINGTON, D.C.  More that 85 organizations teamed up today in support of mandatory country-of origin labeling for fresh produce and meat products.  The broad coalition consisting of consumer, livestock, fruit and vegetable and other organizations sent joint letters to Senate Agriculture Committee leadership asking the food labeling provision be included in the Senate version of the farm bill, which the committee is expected to begin marking up this week.  The letters to Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom Harkin, D, IA, and ranking Member Richard G. Lugar, R, IN, support S.280, the Consumer right to Know Act of 2001.  The bill requires country-of origin labeling at the point of sale for fresh fruits and vegetables and for muscle cut and ground meat products including beef, pork and lamb.  Under S. 280, fresh produce must be grown and processed in the United  States and meat products must be from animals, born, raised and slaughtered in the United States to be labeled as “Made in the USA.”

“The groundswell for mandatory country-of origin labeling for produce and meat products is strong,” said Leland Swenson, president of National Farmers Union and one of the letter’s cosigners.  “Country-of-origin labeling is a critical part of the American consumer's right to make informed decisions about the food they feed their families.”

Look and see if your representative group is on this list of supporters.  If not you may want to reconsider who you wish to have represent yourself and the U.S.A. producers and consumers.

Another Issue of serious debate is on the issue of Country of Origin Labeling. NCBA has just released their version it states:  Under USDA regulation, all cattle carcasses from cattle produced in the US can only receive a USDA quality grade at the point of slaughter or at the point of original chill.  However, a special exception to this regulation has been adopted to allow carcasses from Canada to be imported a graded with the USDA quality grade.  These carcasses must also be identified as “product of Canada”, but this identity may be trimmed away as the carcass is further fabricated in retail cuts.  Beef producers have increasingly criticized this liberal interpretation regarding use of the USDA grading system.  Legislators we want direct action to address these most critical issues effecting the bottom line of the majority of U.S.A. cattle producers, feeders and consumers.

AAM has had country-of-origin labeling as one of its major goals for 21 years. 



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