Governor Kevin Stitt Signs Priority Legislation Protecting the Integrity of Beef in the MarketplaceMon, 29 Apr 2019 11:54:55 CDT
At the end of last week, Governor Kevin Stitt signed into law a bill that has taken priority with the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association in 2019. The bill deals directly with the integrity of beef in the marketplace, specifically defining what products can and can not use the term “beef” commercially. Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays caught up with OCA Executive Vice President Michael Kelsey for his reaction to this decisive win for the Oklahoma beef industry.
“We were really excited to have this bill cross the finish line,” Kelsey said. “Really, there was hardly any resistance. There was some discussion by some outside folks to attach an amendment a time or two but we were able to ward those off and keep it moving forward.”
The bill originated as a response by the beef industry to the advent of lab-based cell-cultured protein products being marketed as an alternative to conventionally raised meat. This legislation ensures that these companies can not use the beef industry’s terminology to market their products, stipulating that only those products harvested from a bovine animal can be labelled beef. This stipulation is also applicable to other meats (i.e. poultry, pork, mutton, etc.). It also includes labeling restrictions that bar cultured meats from using terms related to specific cuts of meat and other associated nomenclature.
Kelsey reports that lobbyists representing these companies attempted during the legislative process to modify this bill in ways that would make it friendlier to their clients’ products. However, Kelsey says those attempted were thwarted and the purity of the bill’s spirit was left intact. This is an ongoing struggle that the OCA’s national affiliate, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, is tackling on the federal level currently. He says NCBA continues to work with the US Department of Agriculture to ensure that as the department progresses in making its own necessary definitions, that they remain aligned with the beef industry’s interests.
Listen to Kelsey’s full conversation with Hays discussing the new law of the land in Oklahoma pertaining to meat labeling restrictions, on today’s Beef Buzz.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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