Bipartisan bill introduced to prevent foreign beef from receiving “Product of USA” label
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senators Mike Rounds and John Thune, along with seven other bipartisan lawmakers introduced legislation Thursday aimed at beef labeling.
The Beef Act calls for only beef born, raised, and slaughtered in the U.S. to receive the product of the U.S.A. label.
Current Department of Agriculture rules allow for foreign beef, packaged in the U.S. to receive the same label.
Senator Mike Rounds says it’s misleading to the consumer.
“Some of that beef that they see a ‘Product of the U.S.A.’ sticker on it, under these guidelines does not have to be American beef,” said Rounds. “All it has to do is be repackaged and they can put that voluntary label on it and that’s wrong.”
This isn’t the first time similar legislation has been introduced and Rounds says push back from large producers has stunted it’s progress in the past.
“It’s really just primarily processors that understand that customers are willing to pay more if it’s a product of the U.S.A. and it suggests that it’s more valuable or they wouldn’t be using that sticker in the first place,” said Rounds. “But shame on the U.S. Department of Agriculture for letting that practice to go on for almost two decades, it’s time we get it fixed.”
The legislation has been endorsed by the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, R-CALF, S.D. Farmers Union, and the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association.