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Copyright © 2014
Angus Journal

SD Stockgrowers Thank Noem for Support of COOL

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association applauds Representative Kristi Noem for her leadership to defend country-of-origin labeling (COOL) during the House Agriculture Committee meeting last week. The House Agriculture Committee was asked to consider an amendment that would have repealed COOL on beef, pork and poultry, an amendment that SD Stockgrowers Association strongly opposed.

"We appreciate that Representative Noem understands the importance of COOL and was able to help defeat the amendment to repeal COOL," said Shane Kolb, Stockgrowers President. "We are very happy that Representative Noem is on the record in support of country-of-origin labeling."

The Farm Bill moved out of both the Senate and House Agriculture committees for consideration in the respective bodies before going to a conference committees for further deliberation. Stockgrowers have been watching closely for opposition to COOL which may likely be brought up again as the Farm Bill process moves forward.

COOL was originally passed in the 2000 Farm Bill and labeling on beef, pork and poultry was put into place in 2008. Labels are now clearly visible in the grocery store shelves on those meat products. A recent WTO case created some controversy about the program when a tribunal ruled in favor of Mexico and Canada on claims that U.S. COOL laws provided a barrier to trade for their products. USDA is in the final stages of an amended labeling rule that would bring the United States into compliance with the WTO while upholding the COOL requirement.

Stockgrowers has long been a supporter of COOL and members have worked for years to defend and uphold the program. "Country-of-origin labeling has been a benefit to both producers and consumers. Its important to the people who purchase our product that they know where their beef comes from, and as a producer, I'm proud to have the U.S.A. Raised label on our steaks in the grocery store shelf."

Kolb concluded by saying, "Stockgrowers sincerely thanks Rep. Noem for her leadership and we very much appreciate her support to defend our country-of-origin labeling program."

Editor's Note: The articles is from the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association.