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Fight for MCOOL in 2024 farm bill

Fight for MCOOL in 2024 farm bill

By Scout Nelson

Amid growing concerns about transparency in beef labeling, South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds is taking a firm stand. He is currently rallying other senators to support mandatory country of origin labeling (MCOOL) for beef in the 2024 Farm Bill. This initiative seeks to restore a vital consumer right knowing where the beef on their plates comes from.

Historically, U.S. consumers and cattle ranchers suffered when Congress repealed MCOOL in 2015 following a World Trade Organization ruling. This allowed multinational beef packers to mislabel foreign beef as "Product of the USA," misleading consumers significantly.

The controversy intensified as legal efforts to challenge misleading labels fell short, highlighting a gap in consumer protection that only Congress can address.

The repeal of MCOOL enabled deceptive practices at the expense of transparency, where previously, stringent labeling requirements had provided clear information through the retail chain.

Now, as we approach the drafting of the 2024 Farm Bill, Senator Rounds has authored a persuasive letter to the Senate agriculture committee, advocating for the reinstatement of MCOOL.

The letter argues that U.S. producers face unfair competition from foreign beef that does not always meet American standards for animal health and consumer safety.

Support for this move is widespread, with over 470 military veterans recently urging Congress to prioritize American ranchers and consumers by reinstating MCOOL for beef. With a growing coalition of senators, there is renewed hope for legislative action.

Senator Rounds emphasizes that restoring MCOOL will not only ensure fairness and transparency in the marketplace but also support American cattle producers by leveling the playing field.

This initiative represents a critical step towards aligning consumer rights with national agricultural policies in the United States.

Photo Credit -gettyimages-sstajic

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Categories: South Dakota, Government & Policy

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