(SEPTEMBER 10, 2021) – On Wednesday, U.S. Sens. Jon Tester (D-MT), John Thune (R-SD), Mike Rounds (R-SD), and Cory Booker (D-NJ), announced the American Beef Labeling Act, legislation that would reinstate mandatory country of origin labeling (MCOOL) for beef.
This bill require the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), in consultation with the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, to develop a World Trade Organization-compliant means of reinstating MCOOL for beef within one year of enactment. USTR would have six months to develop a reinstatement plan followed by a six-month window to implement it. If USTR fails to reinstate MCOOL for beef within one year of enactment, it would automatically be reinstated for beef only.
United States Cattlemen’s Association (UCSA) Vice President Justin Tupper issued the following statement on the bill:
“We greatly appreciate the work of Senators Tester, Thune, Rounds, and Booker in continuing to push forward solutions to define what constitutes a U.S. beef product. From the perspective of the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, that label should pertain only to beef that was born, raised, and harvested in the U.S.A. This legislation provides a pathway for achieving clear, accurate labels so that consumers can continue choosing to put high quality American beef on their plates.”