Subject: Thanks to You, COOL Remains Untouched in 2013 Farm Bill. But, Meatpackers Got Their Way with the GIPSA Rule
Thank you for all your calls to your Senators and Representatives. Thanks to you, both Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE) and Representative Austin Scott (R-GA) withdrew their amendments to repeal country of origin labeling (COOL) during their respective committee’s mark-up of the 2013 Farm Bill. As a result, COOL remains untouched unless someone offers the amendments during the full floor debates.
Background: The full Senate is expected to debate and vote on the Senate version of the 2013 Farm Bill next week. We are working to get certain Senators to offer amendments on the Senate floor to address meatpacker retaliation and the need for a special counsel for agriculture competition (we’d like to add a ban on packer ownership of livestock but we don’t have anyone willing to do so yet.) We will keep you informed of our progress and let you know when more calls are needed.
Although COOL has escaped the meatpackers’ immediate effort to repeal it, the GIPSA rule did not. Yesterday, the House Agriculture Committee approved by voice vote the amendment by Representatives Mike Conaway (R-TX) and Jim Costa (D-CA). Their amendment prevents GIPSA from doing any further work on the GIPSA rulemaking that resulted from the 2008 Farm Bill. In addition, the amendment repeals regulations that were finalized to protect contract poultry growers from meatpacker abuses.
House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN) helped carry the meatpackers’ water by voting for the anti-GIPSA rule.
Action: Because the anti-GIPSA language is in the House version of the Farm Bill but not the Senate version, we need your help to inform both your Senators and your Representative that they must remove the anti-GIPSA amendment from the final 2013 Farm Bill.
You can reach your Senators and your Representative by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and asking for them by name. When you call your members of Congress, be sure to ask for the staff member who is working on the 2013 Farm Bill.
Good Luck with your calls! We’ll keep in touch.
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