In 2015, Congress voted to end the requirement that meat labels must tell us whether our meat is imported or domestic. Today, Americans can no longer choose American beef unless a Congress passes a law restoring Mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling (M-COOL). America is losing its ranchers and farmers at an alarming rate as they can no longer compete with hundreds of millions of pounds of undifferentiated imported beef. As the number of U.S. farms decline, rural communities are hollowing out. That’s not good.
The United States economy suffers a $13.6 billion annual loss to its largest sector of American agriculture: the U.S. cattle industry. Because of this injustice, I am inviting every American to join a national grassroots campaign to raise awareness for immediate legislative or executive action to reinstate M-COOL for beef to support America’s hardworking cattle farmers and ranchers.
Here is the call to action: Visit this website to sign the petition to Immediately Pass Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling for Beef, Pork, and Dairy Products.
Why immediately? Because the time is now! Through the efforts of concerned Americans like you, the White House has already received approximately 10,000 calls and emails on this issue, placing it at the forefront. Now is not the time to let up - it’s time to flood our legislators with this common-sense, patriotic petition!
In addition to signing the petition, you can reach your legislator in Washington, D.C., at 202-224-3121 and ask for your congressional representative by name. Please make sure you tell them that every American has the right to know where their food comes from.
Passed in 2002, COOL was the law of the land for beef, pork, fruits, vegetables, fish, chicken, and lamb. But in 2015, COOL was repealed for beef and pork.
On May 23, 2019, Bloomberg published an article titled Most Grass-Fed Beef Labeled ‘Product of USA’ Is Imported, which detailed the following: If you’ve eaten grass-fed beef in America over the past few years, chances are the cows weren’t raised in the U.S., even if the package has "Product of USA" printed on it.
So it’s clear this issue has been brewing for a while.
In 2015, the U.S. government repealed existing rules that mandated "country of origin" labeling. The rules required non-processed beef and pork sold via retail to say where it was born, raised, and slaughtered. Since the repeal, however, meat products can come from other countries and—after being "processed" (which could mean cutting large pieces into smaller ones inside a plant inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture)—receive a stamp that says "Product of USA."
It is this kind of misleading labeling in America’s supermarkets that has Americans already skeptical when they read "Made in USA" claims on food packaging. The typical mental picture when one envisions "Made in USA" beef is a magnificent American steer grazing in America’s heartland, or perhaps in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. But the reality is that isn’t the case. It’s more likely that your beef or pork came to America in an imported container jam-packed with frozen carcasses slaughtered on the other side of the earth.
The pandemic hasn’t helped the plight of our American ranchers and farmers. According to a July 23, 2020, Wall Street Journal article, U.S. cattle ranchers have seen livestock prices plummet as Covid-19 has spread across the country. At the same time, wholesale beef prices surged as consumers stocked up at grocery stores. This disconnect has driven the difference between livestock prices and wholesale beef prices to a record level, according to a USDA report.
All concerned Americans should sign the petition to immediately pass Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling for beef, pork, and dairy products. It will take less than a minute and just might make a world of difference. Our American farmers and ranchers deserve better. They deserve justice and a level playing field to compete in the marketplace. That’s not too much to ask. After all, they are the ones who have been paying taxes to America for their entire lives, unlike foreign producers who pay no taxes to America.
About Roger Simmermaker
Roger Simmermaker has written multiple books on buying American and trade policy since 1996, and has been a frequent guest on Fox News, Fox Business Network, CNN, and MSNBC. Roger has also been quoted or featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, BusinessWeek, and The New York Times, among many other publications. His new book " UNCONSTITUTIONAL: Our Founding Fathers Rejected FREE TRADE And So Should We," was printed in January 2020.