Sonny Perdue

Critics are continuing to noodle Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue’s plan to reorganize his large department, finding things they don’t like about it. Perdue’s desire to move U.S. involvement in world food standards to USDA’s trade office, taking it away from food safety, was the first change to…

The chief executive of the nation’s oldest and largest cattle industry association thinks a competing group is in bed with radical activists who want to “undermine the beef industry.”

Kendal Frazier, who is chief executive officer of the Denver-based National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, took a shot or two at the Billings-based group known as R-CALF,…

State and national cattlemen’s associations hope to team rope the  U.S. Department of Agriculture in federal court over  regulations that they say allow beef and pork to be classified as “domestic products” even when the meat products involved are imported from foreign counties to confuse American consumers and harm U.S. farmers and ranchers.

It’s an…

As individual actions, they might not mean much. Collectively, they say Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) is not going away anytime soon.

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-cheyenne-wyoming-state-capitol-image6563112Two 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…

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…

Capitol-Nov2015_406x250Late 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…

map-North-America_406x250The 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…

COOLabel_406x250Last 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…

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

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…