Leo McDonnell Questions Product of USA Labeling on Packages of Beef You Can Find in the Supermarket Meat CaseWed, 06 Nov 2019 16:05:05 CST
If it says U.S. Beef on the Package, is it really U.S. Beef? Montana Rancher, Leo McDonnell of the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association believes “Basically, if you are going to use the label U.S. BEEF, it better be U.S. BEEF, which means born, raised, and slaughtered here in the U.S.” McDonnell was talking with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays this past Sunday at the American Angus Association Convention in Reno.
McDonnell contends that today’s Beef labeling rules are misleading. The goal in truth and labeling is to give consumers more accurate information about what we see on the grocery store shelf, and to showcase how U.S. beef really is the best in the world. He adds that many people promote Made in America Products, but they aren't actually made in America, so the goal is to make sure that if people are using that nomenclature, (U.S. Beef, or Made in America) it has to be a product that came from the U.S. Cattle herd.
McDonnel says, “Since the repealing of COOL, (Country of Origin Labeling) they went back to the old guidelines, which allows you to call anything U.S. beef that was slaughtered in the U.S., or if its been imported beef it could have been cut up, or ground up and packaged here they can still call it U.S. Beef.”
The beef labeling rules allow beef and beef products from cattle born, raised and slaughtered outside of the U.S. to be labeled as U.S. beef. McDonnel says “It’s wrong. And it compromises us as an industry not to be straight with our consumes, but it compromises U.S. producers who are trying to be more transparent with their consumers and build their trust”
This is important to U.S. Cattlemen because they are producing some of the highest quality beef in the world, and consumers deserve to know where their next meal is coming from. McDonnel states, “If you’re going to call it U.S. product, it better be U.S. product. That Simple”
Last week South Dakota Senators John and Mike Rounds introduced a bill to amend the Federal Meat Inspection Act to modify requirements that meat is labeled “Product of U.S.A" which is in keeping with what McDonnell told Hays needs to happen to direct USDA to change the rules that Packers follow in what can be placed on the label about the beef packages that show up in the supermarket meat case.
Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear more from Leo McDonnel as he talks with Ron Hays in 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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