Ranch group responds to ag secretary’s interest in COOL
BILLLINGS, Mont. — In a letter sent to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, R-CALF USA responded to statements made by Vilsack during his Senate confirmation hearing held last month. Vilsack had then indicated an interest in revisiting country-of-origin labeling (COOL) for beef if it could be done without triggering the retaliatory tariffs authorized by the World Trade Organization during Vilsack’s previous term as agriculture secretary.
In the letter, the group attached a proposed draft bill that Congress can use to require all beef sold in America to be labeled as to where the animal was born, raised and harvested. Also attached is a summary that explains why the proposal should alleviate the concerns raised by the WTO regarding the old COOL law that Congress repealed after 2015.
The letter states the proposal would also accomplish what the old COOL law did, which was to eliminate the mislabeling of foreign beef products with a “Product of U.S.A.” label.
“Reinstating a functioning mandatory COOL law is vital to U.S. cattle producers who are presently without the means to build demand for their U.S. cattle and to U.S. consumers who desire to know from what country(s) their beef originates,” the letter adds.
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Of the approximately 2,270 acres that burned in the April 1, 2021, Medora, N.D., fire, rancher Doug Tescher said all but about 100 acres were U.S. Forest Service land that he utilizes for summer grazing.