June 29, 2015
Congress Betrays Americans In Repeal of Meat Origin Law
Meat origin information will be hidden from consumers if Congress repeals Country of Origin labeling (COOL).
As of June 10, 2015 the U.S. House of Representatives passed HR 2393 which will deny all Americans from knowing where their beef, chicken or pork comes from. Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) of our food is essentially on its way out, if we don’t fight to stop the greed of Multi-National companies. Three hundred of our U.S. Representatives have already caved to greed of Multi National Meat Packers and foreign trade tribunals (WTO).
My Congressman, Texas Representative Mike Conaway, introduced HR 2393 as “a targeted response that will remove uncertainty, provide stability and bring us back into compliance.” In actuality it is a targeted response that will benefit the Multi National Meat Packers only, remove any certainty about where our meat comes from, provide stability for the Packers alone and force Americans into compliance with a ruling made by foreigners concerning our laws. All the while we get cheated out of knowing where our food comes from. Some people might question which country Mike Conaway is actually representing and for all of you Free Traders, this just proves that American Sovereignty and its laws are trumped by trade laws.
Not all Representatives are like Mr. Conaway. Some actually support American sovereignty like Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT). She spoke for seven minutes on behalf of COOL and all of the Americans who support it. Rep. DeLauro said it all when she said, “People deserve to know where their food comes from. American farmers and ranchers deserve the opportunity to distinguish their products. It is an economic truism that complete and accurate information is one of the cornerstones of a free market.”
June 25, 2015 the Senate Ag Committee held their hearing on COOL with five witnesses wanting to repeal COOL and the Ag Committee knew these witnesses would be against COOL and one witness that I would have assumed to be for COOL turned out to be for voluntary COOL. With witnesses like these COOL never stood a chance.
The big Multi National Meat companies and their associations have been fighting the Labeling Law since its inception in 2002. The Multi Nationals have been getting the World Trade Organization (WTO) involved for years and the latest WTO ruling is Mexico and Canada can retaliate in trade with the U.S. in November. We already import 85% of Canada’s beef in one form or another, mostly going into the unlabeled restaurant and food service industry, how much more do we have to take? I for one have had enough of this Anti American betrayal from both parties trying to outdo the other, all in an effort to placate foreign interests before the interests of the American people.
As I have said in previous letters to the editor, “Americans should not be taking-buying protein from Mexico, when millions of Mexican citizens need their cattle, hogs, chickens and their meats to stay in Mexico and be buyable to their citizens.” Just because we can pay more for their meat and cattle than they can doesn’t mean that we should buy their food sources from them. It begs the question, should Multi National grain companies buy grain from Ethiopia and sell to us? We can pay more for it but should we take their food sources from them?
In the Livestock Weekly of June 11, 2015 on page 10, “Mexico estimates the U.S. Law COOL has cost them $653 million in damages.” Anyone want to hazard a guess at how much it is costing American taxpayers to now support ¼ of Mexico’s citizens, here in the U.S. illegally, through welfare, prisons and jobs lost to the illegals? I believe that it can be safely said that it involves only billions and billions of dollars.
Our fight with the WTO is not over yet because now Canada and Mexico will go to its Tribunal and try to prove that we have hurt them monetarily. If the WTO Tribunal were comprised of caring individuals they would insist that Mexico not sell any beef, pork or chicken until all of their own people are fed and clothed first. The Tribunal would also insist that Canada clean up their BSE problem once and for all so as not to feed their own people contaminated protein much less the rest of the world.
The NCBA and other Multi National Meat Packer lackeys can beat the export drum all they want but it won’t make a difference to those other countries who want to be assured that the beef from America actually came from American cattle not Canadian or Mexican cattle. In February, of this year, it was reported that 5 different nations were wanting assurance that the beef they imported didn’t come from Canada, proving that the world wants to know where their beef comes from. Voluntary COOL, that some people want, has already proven to be not enough because we had voluntary COOL for years and the Packers wouldn’t label the meat for us but they would tell all of the foreign countries where the meat comes from. If it is good enough for the world, why not us?
283 groups representing millions of American consumers, farms, ranches, manufacturing and communities have sent repeated letters to Congress showing strong support of COOL. A 2014 Consumer Reports survey found that 90% of consumers support COOL. How is it that only 300 people who are obviously out of touch with their constituents as well as consumers kill the only decent law that Americans have been afforded in years?
When Congress changes American laws in order to placate a few Multi National Meat Packers and other nations, if that is not treason, it is at least a betrayal.