America’s cattle ranchers are applauding efforts by the House Agriculture Committee to implement a producer-friendly, market-driven country-of-origin labeling program. The Meat Promotion Act (H.R. 2068) was introduced today by House Ag Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Rep. Marion Berry (D-Ark.), along with 32 additional co-sponsors.
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), which has long supported the concept of country-of-origin labeling, thanks the committee for its persistent efforts on this issue.
“Many segments of the food industry have wanted country-of-origin labeling for years,” says NCBA President and Texascattle producer Jim McAdams. “But there continues to be heated debate over how to actually implement such a program so that it works. After all this time, we’re no closer to promoting U.S.products than we were a decade ago. We’re tired of debating and we’re tired of waiting.”
NCBA says the Meat Promotion Act can finally move country-of-origin labeling forward in a common-sense and cost-effective manner that will benefit beef and pork producers across the country by promoting American-grown foods.
- The Meat Promotion Act puts the marketplace in charge
Food producers are in the business of meeting consumer demand. Where that demand is demonstrated, more products labeled with country-of-origin will become available.
- Opportunityfor broad participation
This program does not discriminate against any groups in the food production, retail or food service sectors. The program is open to everyone who wants to participate. More participation equals more promotion of U.S.products!
- Successful models already exist
Under this bill, USDA will implement a labeling program that will be similar to the many voluntary labeling programs that currently exist. Hundreds of programs that label products by region, state and U.S.brand have already proven their value for producers and consumers alike.
“This is a bipartisan bill and is widely supported by nearly 60 food and ag groups as a means for finally moving country-of-origin labeling forward,” says McAdams. “This effort is going to separate the cattlemen who really want country-of-origin labeling from the folks who just want to keep talking about it. We say it’s time to ‘get her done,’ once and for all.”