CHEYENNE, Wyo. — U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming joined several other U.S. senators to reintroduce the American Beef Labeling Act, which would reinstate mandatory country of origin labeling for beef.
Wyoming is home to more than 100 cattle operations, with 72,000 head of cattle that are born, raised and finished on Wyoming ranches.
“Consumers want to make informed choices about the food they purchase and they deserve to know where it comes from. In order to ensure that, we need mandatory labeling rules,” Lummis said. “Wyoming ranchers produce some of the highest quality beef in the world and deserve to have a competitive advantage when selling their beef in a competing market with foreign-raised products from Canada, Argentina and elsewhere.”
This legislation would require the U.S. Trade Representative, in consultation with the secretary of the U.S. Department 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 another six months to implement it.
Under the current beef labeling system, imported beef that is neither born nor raised in the U.S. but is finished here can be labeled as a product from the U.S.
Countries including Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Brazil are the top importers of beef to the nation and can sell their products under a U.S. label.
The bill is also sponsored by Sens. John Thune and Mike Rounds of South Dakota, Jon Tester of Montana, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.
To read the full text of the bill, click here.