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…

Effective immediately, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says,  USDA will no longer enforce the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) requirements for beef and pork products because COOL was repealed by Congress.

Vilsack said labeling regulations on the books will be amended “as expeditiously as possible” to bring the beef and pork provisions into line.  It means…

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

R-CALF USA, which represents the U.S. cattle industry in trade, marketing and private property rights issues, is pointing to a recent case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) — or, as it is commonly called, “mad cow disease” — in a Canadian cow as a reason to maintain country-of-origin labeling (COOL). MeatLabelingMainThe World Trade Organization (WTO)…

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia is allowing Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) of the born, raised and slaughtered production step on meat to continue. COOL took effect last year, but the meat industry had tried to block the rule. Today, the court denied a preliminary injunction against enforcing COOL and…

Beef lovers, you might want to make sure you’re sitting down. In 2013, the population of cattle in the U.S. hit its lowest point since the 1950s. It might not look like it from the line at the fast-food drive-through, but America’s herd size has actually been in decline since its peak in 1975, when…

UPDATE: After a two-hour hearing Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson said she’ll have a decision on the meat industry’s request for a preliminary injunction within 14 days. Led by the powerful American Meat Institute, most of North America’s meat industry today will be asking a federal court in Washington, D.C., for a…

Five counties – not including the United States — have now banned Brazilian beef entirely as a precaution after the country’s handling of an incident of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in 2010. Japan, China, South Africa, South Korea and Saudi Arabia have blocked beef from Brazil because of the BSE, or Mad Cow Disease report,…