The USDA secretary is listening to cattlemen’s desires for country-of-origin labeling on beef products, known as the COOL program for short. It has been more than a year since the American Beef Labeling Act was issued on September 13, 2021. The act reissued requirements that beef must have packaging clearly showing its country of origin.
Despite that, the law has not been fully implemented by the United States Senate agriculture committee. Nevertheless, multiple congress members continue to talk about how much they support the cause, while the bill received various Republican and Democratic Senator sponsorships.
Reviewing the “Made in the USA” Labels for Beef Products
The United States Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, has weighed in on the situation. He has stated that the department will review the “Made in the USA” labels to reassure the public and confirm its proper implementation throughout American meat packaging plants. However, cattlemen believe these labels are not as legitimate as they should be.
Federal Trade Commission Gets More Strict With “Made in the USA” Label Usage
Lately, there have been several instances of fraudulent “Made in the USA” labels on products being reported. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is cracking down on these labels to deter fraudulent activities and give consumers peace of mind that they are purchasing products sourced from the United States.
The FTC’s commitment to strict implementation means that marketers must be able to show the trade commission that their product was made or almost fully made in the United States before it can receive a “Made in the USA” label.
While this mandate is not related to the meat industry’s discussion about “Made in the USA” labeling, Vilsack will review the label to confirm the measure’s legitimacy. There are differing views from the top cattlemen organizations, including the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Those disagreements have led to Vilsack having the final say in label review.
Fraudulent “Made in the USA” Labels on Beef
Foreign beef products have received fraudulent “Made in the USA” labels, misleading consumers to believe they are eating American-made beef when they are not. American cattlemen are facing issues in marketing their beef to the public because the problems with fraudulent labeling persist.
The Coalition for a Prosperous America Poll
Voters have weighed in on their concerns about beef product labeling in the Coalition for a Prosperous America poll. Statistics from this poll indicate that the “Made in the USA” labels would benefit from a further review from Vilsack.
About three-quarters of Americans polled say they want to know the origins of beef they purchase. In addition, three-quarters of the participants also said they would be more open to voting for a Congress member who supports the American Beef Labeling Act.
Almost 90% of those polled expressed concern about how foreign beef distributors could falsely label their products as US-sourced without accountability. Finally, the poll found 86% of Americans support the goals of the American Beef Labeling Act.