R-CALF USA members who have been calling their Senators to continue urging them to take NO action to repeal or weaken COOL have been told that the National Farmers Union is now urging the Senate to support a bill that will repeal mandatory COOL for beef and pork and then make the labeling of beef and pork voluntary. Obviously, this is what the meatpackers, NCBA, and USDA have been trying to achieve all along. And, this is what we had for beef and pork prior to the 2002 passage of COOL.
The AMS has had a voluntary origin labeling regime in place for decades. We already have voluntary labeling for beef. In fact, go to the AMS website at http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRD3320450 and you will find a 30-page document of all the labeling claims the AMS has already approved under its voluntary process verification programs (PVP). On page 9 of that document you will see that IMI Global, for example, is certified to make the following voluntary claims:
• Source Verification
• Born in the USA
• Born and Raised in the USA
• Nebraska Verified: cattle born and/or born and fed in the State of Nebraska.
We already have voluntary COOL for beef and pork. Passing legislation that requires USDA to administer a voluntary labeling program for beef and pork is, at best, a complete and utter surrender of our U.S. COOL law.