Preserve mandatory country-of-origin labeling

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beef cattle on pasture
(Farm and Dairy file photo)

Editor:

We in America have never gone to a grocery store only to find empty shelves and/or meat cases. Less than 2 percent of the population in America are farmers, who work long hours in all kinds of weather to produce the best and safest food in the world. They deserve to have it labeled “born and raised in the USA,” which will enable the people going to the grocery store to make an informed decision as to what to buy.

In 2002, Congress passed into law country-of-origin labeling, or COOL, but made it voluntary. Guess what? The big meat packers and agribusiness wouldn’t use it. So in the 2008 farm bill, COOL was made mandatory, starting in 2009.

Since that time, Canada and Mexico, along with the big meat packers, have lobbied Congress, telling them that COOL is unfair and discriminatory. Why? Because the packers want to bring cattle in from Canada, Mexico and Brazil and mix the meat with ours, born and raised in the USA, with no COOL label.

Incidentally, Canada still has not eradicated Mad Cow Disease, or BSE. Mexico still has a TB problem, and Brazil is still rampant with Foot and Mouth Disease, a most dreaded disease that can affect any cloven hoof animal, such as domestic cattle, deer, antelope, buffalo, llama and others.

People, don’t get confused by a USDA label. If the animal is slaughtered in the USA, it will have been inspected by USDA and stamped USDA.

With this information in mind, you should see why we need to preserve mandatory country-of-origin labeling, or COOL, so the 2 percent of us who are farmers and ranchers can supply you, the consumer, with the best and safest food in the world.

Contact your U.S. senators and tell them to leave country-of-origin labeling mandatory. Your safest food supply depends on it.

Howard Wheeler
Kimbolton, Ohio

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1 COMMENT

  1. It is ridiculous to assume US beef is inherently safer than Mexican or Canadian beef. The North American beef market is highly integrated and COOL is an obvious attempt to thwart foreign competition. It has nothing to do with safety and everything to do with protectionism. That’s why the US has consistently lost at the WTO. Repeal COOL or face the sting of legal sanctions coming soon.

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