R-CALF USA praises COOL in Farm Bill
January 30, 2014
Washington, D.C. – Today, after longer than two years of congressional debate, the members of the Farm Bill Conference Committee issued their Farm Bill Conference Report that will now be voted on by both Houses of Congress.
Despite a well-funded and well-organized fight by multinational meatpackers and their allies, including the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) and the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), the Farm Bill Conference Report does not limit the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture's ability to write rules to enforce the Packers and Stockyards Act nor does it weaken or eliminate country of origin labeling (COOL).
"This is a major victory for independent U.S. farmers and ranchers who want open and fair competition in the United States," said R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard, adding, "We owe a tremendous thank you to the congressional members who were steadfast in their support of COOL and the enforcement of our livestock competition laws."
Bullard said that R-CALF USA joined forces with hundreds of other like-minded organizations, and worked with them throughout the longer than two-year development of the Farm Bill, to ensure that U.S. farmers and ranchers can differentiate their products with COOL and sell their livestock without the threat of unfair and abusive practices by meatpackers.
"If it was not for our huge coalition of cattle groups, general farm groups, consumer groups and others, we would never have prevailed over the tremendous economic and political power of our opponents," Bullard said.
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Bullard said the meatpackers, NCBA and NPPC have threatened to oppose the entire Farm Bill now that they did not get their way with blocking enforcement of the Packers and Stockyards Act or weakening or eliminating COOL.
"Both the Senate and House must now vote on the Conference Report and we must remain vigilant to ensure that no amendment is passed that would undermine what we have so far won," Bullard cautioned. F