I knew this wasn’t going to sit well with everyone and I’m sure we’re going to hear a lot more about it. We reported recently on the introduction of a new voluntary beef labeling program. It was officially kicked off today. The first response we’ve seen has been from the American Meat Institute.
NEW LABELING PROGRAM GETS ‘VOLUNTARY’ RIGHT,
BUT ANTI-IMPORTED BEEF MOTIVATIONS ARE STILL WRONG
By AMI President J. Patrick Boyle
“A new effort announced by the Cattlemen’s Competitive Market Project (CCMP) aimed at voluntary country-of-origin labeling for beef got two things right: it’s voluntary and the costs of the program are paid for by those who champion it.
This stands in stark contrast to the expensive, mandatory program slated to go into effect in September 2006. That program’s first year implementation costs are estimated $3.9 billion, two-thirds of which will be borne by the red meat industry alone.
However, a close read of the materials released today by CCMP, a project of the Organization for Competitive Markets and the Ranchers-Cattlemen’s Action Legal Fund, should make clear that despite the fact that it is voluntary, the “Not just any beef. USA Raised Beef” campaign is an anti-trade initiative that reflects R-CALF’s ongoing beef with imports.
Under major free trade agreements, beef imported into the U.S. must be produced and inspected according to the same standards as beef produced in U.S. packing plants Only certain plants in other countries are certified as having this equivalence and only those plants may export to the U.S. To suggest that USDA is permitting “cheap” and “unsafe” beef into the U.S. is patently false and misleading to consumers.
For more information contact JANET RILEY, 202/587-4245.