05-11-13 USCA Urges Calls to Policy-Makers on COOL…
Posted by Brian Allmer on May 12, 2013
USCA (May 10, 2013) – The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) today is urging supporters of country of origin labeling (COOL) to call their U.S. Representatives and Senators and direct them not to consider any legislation targeting the current COOL law. Farm bill markup sessions are set to begin in both chambers of Congress next week and USCA leadership says calls should be made as quickly as possible to remind Congressional delegations not to tamper with the existing law. Specifically, supporters of COOL must call their members to oppose the inclusion of Section 12104 Country of Origin Labeling which directs the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to issue an economic study on COOL 180 days following passage of the Farm Bill. This language essentially acts as a marker by which the issue may be brought up in Conference, at which time those in opposition to COOL will seek to gut the program.
The following statement can be attributed to Jon Wooster, USCA President, San Lucas, California.
“We know from experience that the groups who oppose COOL will take full advantage of the Farm Bill process to achieve their agenda. COOL supporters need to take a proactive approach and make contact with policy-makers urging them to preserve and protect COOL as written. The U.S. COOL law was challenged at the World Trade Organization (WTO) by Canada and Mexico and that challenge is on the cusp of being resolved. USDA has published its amending rule to bring the law into compliance with the WTO ruling and we expect that rule will be finalized before the end of the month. It is imperative that we allow the WTO process to play out without congressional intervention, but those who have opposed COOL from the beginning are pressuring lawmakers to pass legislation in the new Farm Bill that would gut the law. The remedy is simple: get involved by calling your U.S. Senators and Representatives and urge them to reject any effort to change COOL.
Lawmakers who should be contacted first are those assigned to the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, which will begin the Farm Bill mark-up process the week of May 15th. A list of those individuals can be found here and here. USCA will be monitoring this process closely and we will be issuing member and media alerts as needed so the process is as transparent as possible. I urge every COOL supporter to become engaged and make contact with their elected officials just as soon as possible.”
Established in March 2007, USCA is committed to concentrating its efforts in Washington, DC to enhance and expand the cattle industry’s voice on Capitol Hill. USCA has a full-time presence in Washington, giving cattle producers across the country a strong influence on policy development. For more information go towww.uscattlemen.org.