Header graphic for print

Food Safety News

Breaking news for everyone's consumption

Bill Bullard

Ranchers look for some traction on country-of-origin labeling

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-cheyenne-wyoming-state-capitol-image6563112

As individual actions, they might not mean much. Collectively, they say Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) is not going away anytime soon. Two states known for their cowboys, Wyoming and South Dakota, have seen early introduction of COOL bills in their legislatures, respectively, in Cheyenne and Pierre. Cattlemen headquartered in neighboring Montana have not given up on… Continue Reading

More fighting over ‘the dollar’ threatens Beef Checkoff research

BeefCheckoff_406x250

Fighting over “the dollar” has intensified during the past 30 days, raising questions about the future of a longtime source of food safety research funding. “The dollar” is the Beef Checkoff, the $1 added on to the transaction each time there is a bovine sale, from ranch to feedlot, or feedlot to slaughterhouse, etc. It may not… Continue Reading

Spending Bill Includes $104-Million Increase for FSMA, COOL Repeal

Capitol-Nov2015_406x250

Late Tuesday night, the House of Representatives released a $1.1-trillion spending bill to fund the federal government through the end of the fiscal year, which is Sept. 30, 2016. Lobbyists for full funding of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) were pleased with the numbers. The Food and Drug Administration will receive a total of… Continue Reading

WTO Authorizes $1 Billion in Retaliatory Tariffs Against COOL

map-North-America_406x250

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has authorized Canada and Mexico to charge the U.S. $1 billion in retaliatory tariffs for country-of-origin labeling (COOL) on meat. Last spring, WTO rejected a U.S. appeal of its decision that COOL unfairly discriminates against meat imports and gives the advantage to domestic meat products. COOL, which went into effect for meat… Continue Reading

USTR Tells WTO That COOL Damages Are Much Lower Than Estimated

COOLabel_406x250

Last week, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) filed a legal brief in the World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute over mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL), arguing that the $3 billion sought by Canada and Mexico in retaliatory tariffs are a dramatic overestimation of damages. The U.S. requested that the WTO Arbitrator reject the amounts requested by… Continue Reading

Cattle Producer Associations Run From Hot to Cold on COOL

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-beef-cattle-stare-image10956036

The move in Congress to repeal mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL) law for beef, pork and chicken is again turning up the fault lines among the three major organizations that represent American cattle producers. While there are numerous state and local affiliates, the three big groups are: National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), based in Denver and… Continue Reading

USDA: COOL Not Much of an Economic Benefit for Consumers

COOLabel_406x250

Country-of-origin labeling (COOL) does not provide much in the way of “measurable economic benefits” for American consumers and costs producers, packers, and retailers in the United States $2.6 billion a year for all covered commodities, USDA’s chief economist stated in a 198-page report sent Friday to Congress. The report was mandated by the 2014 Farm Bill and… Continue Reading

Amendments to Nebraska Bill Might be Expansion Card for Smithfield Foods

pigs-on-farm-406

Recently filed amendment language now pending in the Nebraska Legislature could clear the way for Chinese-owned Smithfield Foods Inc. to own, control, and feed hogs in contract swine operations in the state. The foreign-owned agribusiness is already a major employer in Nebraska. At a public hearing last month, Legislative Bills (LB) 175 and 176 pitted the independent… Continue Reading