USCA (January 24, 2014) - United States Cattlemen's Association (USCA) president Jon Wooster issued the following statement today regarding the ongoing farm bill conference negotiations.
"USCA remains steadfast in its support of the U.S. country of origin labeling (COOL) as implemented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on November 23, 2013. Any action by Congress to alter or repeal COOL in the farm bill currently being negotiated will affect USCA's support for the overall bill. COOL will reduce consumer confusion at the point of retail and it provides U.S. ranchers with a label that differentiates their product. These are goals that consumers and ranchers overwhelmingly support."
"USDA and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) continue to relay that the revised COOL regulations implemented on November 23, 2013 bring the U.S. into compliance with a ruling by the World Trade Organization (WTO). Congressional intervention in COOL is unwarranted and would only disrupt the WTO process that is currently underway. We urge Congress to support U.S. producers and consumers by rejecting any amendments to the farm bill that would alter or repeal the program."
"USCA also continues to convey its opposition to farm bill language that would disallow USDA's Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) from implementing reforms to the livestock marketplace that will ensure we maintain a clear, transparent and competitive market."
"U.S. producers expect a farm bill that will enhance competition, not limit or suppress it through a repeal or altering of COOL and blocking USDA's GIPSA responsibilities."