• If you are having problems logging in please use the Contact Us in the lower right hand corner of the forum page for assistance.

COOL

Help Support CattleToday:

la4angus

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 31, 2004
Messages
5,063
Reaction score
0
Location
South La
This was emailed to me this morning.
_____________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________

Below please find a COOL Alert issued yesterday by one of the consumer groups we’ve been working with on COOL.

Bill

Buyers Up · Congress Watch · Critical Mass · Global Trade Watch · Health Research Group · Litigation Group

Joan Claybrook, President

EDITORIAL BOARD/COLUMNIST ALERT

Sept. 22, 2004

Eating Blind

Why Congress and the Meat Industry Don’t Want You to Know Where Your Food Comes From

After a year of headlines about mad cow disease, hepatitis scares and ground beef recalls, American consumers are more curious about where their food is from. On October 1st, consumers across the country should be able to buy groceries armed with more information about the fruits, vegetables, meat and fish they are purchasing – a label noting the country where these products were produced.

But thanks to political obstruction, consumers will have to wait until 2006 for this vital information about what they are feeding to their families.

Right now, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is supposed to be finalizing the implementation of a provision of the 2002 Farm Bill that requires “country of origin” labeling (COOL) for beef, lamb, pork, fish, fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, and peanuts. The label would be found on foods sold in grocery stores and would state the food’s country of origin (for meat, the animal would have to be born raised and slaughtered in the U.S. to get the “Product of U.S.” seal.) The implementation date for mandatory COOL was supposed to be September 30, 2004.

Mandatory COOL was one of the most significant wins for family farmers in the controversial 2002 Farm Bill. But big agribusiness, especially the meat and grocery industries, doesn’t want consumers to know where their food comes from and has been working to kill COOL before it ever got started. As corporate consolidation of agriculture continues to drive family farmers out of business in record numbers, more of our food supply is controlled by a small group of companies. These companies don’t want to give ranchers and farmers a desperately needed way to identify their crops and livestock as products of the U.S. They seem to be nervous – and rightfully so – that consumers won’t agree with their vision of shifting food production to the developing world, where labor and land are cheap, and environmental, worker safety and pesticide rules are more lenient.

So, the industry played politics to protect their own interests, not consumers. First, agribusiness interests pressured Congress to delay the date when the law would go into effect. Instead of Sept. 30, 2004, Congress used the appropriations process – which funds the agency implementing the law – to delay the effective date until September 2006 for everything covered by the law except fish. Now, there are rumors that mandatory seafood COOL could be delayed as well.

Next, some lawmakers are trying to change COOL into a voluntary program. The House Agriculture Committee recently passed the Food Promotion Act of 2004 (HR 4576), which repeals the mandatory country-of-origin labeling law and replaces it with a “voluntary” program. Voluntary labeling has been an option for two years, yet few food processors and meatpackers have been willing to participate. A voluntary program will not provide consumers and producers the level of assurance that a mandatory program can provide.

From the time much of our food leaves the field until it ends up on your fork, it’s had a wild adventure that rivals NBC’s hit reality show Fear Factor. With food already traveling 1,500 miles on average before reaching our tables, food imports increasing every year, and food safety scares like the mad cow disease in Canada, it’s past time for consumers to have the basic information necessary to buy food that was produced closer to home. Consumers deserve to know where (and under what regulations) the food they are buying has been produced. Such information could provide a marketing boost for domestic producers in dire need of a way to differentiate themselves in an increasingly global market.

Why would anyone oppose such basic information being provided to consumers? The biggest argument is over cost – but family farmers and ranchers have given the agency lots of ideas for making COOL a simple process that does not have to be expensive, utilizing information most producers already keep. According to the Florida Department of Agriculture, a state where country-of-origin labeling for produce has been law for more than 20 years, it costs supermarkets one or two man-hours per store a week. That’s far less than 1 cent per household per week.

Surveys show that 80 percent of Americans want to know where their food comes from, and that just as many are willing to pay a few extra cents to eat domestically raised meat, fruit and vegetables, if they should happen to cost more than imports. More than 200 farming, ranching, food safety and consumer groups support country-of-origin labeling.

Most U.S. trading partners – about 60 countries, including Canada and Mexico – already have some form of country-of-origin labeling. And eight U.S. states have similar laws in place, including Florida, Louisiana and Maine.

Consumers have a right to know where their food comes from, but in the U.S. we blindly eat meals every day without any way to find out where our vegetables are grown or our meat is produced. Given that we know where our clothes and cars are made, it seems logical that we should also know the same information about our food.


For more information on country-of-origin labeling, please visit http://www.americansforlabeling.org.
 

Texan

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 3, 2004
Messages
1,887
Reaction score
0
Location
East Texas
I guess I probably disagree with you on this one, Muldoon. And I believe LA and I are also on opposite sides. In fact, I think I'm across the fence from most everybody. Not on COOL. I think COOL would be great. Its the mandatory COOL that I don't want. We've had this debate within the last few months, so I'm not going to regurgitate everything I said before. I'll just post a link if I need to. :D

If the consumer really wants COOL and is really willing to pay for it, let the consumer drive the COOL train. When they demand it from the retailer, we'll see a dollar value for it and they can pay for it. We don't need the federal government in charge of it. I swear, some of you guys must have already forgotten their failed attempt at MPR. Remember? We wound up with less price reporting from the packer when the government made it mandatory. That's because the big players who are regulated always end up writing more of the regulations than the little guys do. May not like it, but that's a fact of life.

If we start out with a mandatory COOL, it will be another failure because the federal government will be in control. We, as producers, will bear all of the cost, no matter what anybody says to the contrary. It will be a freebie for the consumer and money out of our pockets! What's wrong with less government in our business? Be careful what you wish for from the federal government. 'Cause you may get something and it'll never be what you want!
 

Campground Cattle

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2004
Messages
2,533
Reaction score
0
Location
East Texas
MULDOON":ecctrm0p said:
Thanks , I think we need a list of the politicians, that are blocking it ( COOL)I don't care if they are D's or R's, It make's me sick to think that they are profiting over something like this!

I am against COOL period unless you are going to pick up the tab. The government needs to stay out, they are about to regulate us to death.

Heck man its easier to get crack cocaine than Grazon.
 
OP
la4angus

la4angus

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 31, 2004
Messages
5,063
Reaction score
0
Location
South La
I posted this piece as it was emailed to me.

I didn't say I am for mandatory COOL.
Texan I pretty much agree with you on Mandatory COOL.

This is just some of the stuff going around that many are not aware of.

This article is R-Calf related and I definitely am not an R-Calf fan.
 

MULDOON

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 16, 2004
Messages
673
Reaction score
0
Location
Where the Stars & Stripes ,, And the Eagle fli
Texan , I agree with you , I'm pretty sure I do? I feel like the consumer has a right to know where the stuff came from that is going in their mouths, I feel like who ever is putting the product in the stores should be footing the bill for this,Pass it on to the consumer , they'll be paying for it.

I think the culprits are the #1 retailers who don't want us ( public) to know where the product is coming from! # 2 The lobbyist that are getting paid by the "retailers" to get our politicians to not do anything about it.
#3 Our politicians , They should be jumping up to help us out!
Yes, I know in a perfect world this might happen , where polilticains worried more about their Country and the people , then who's lining their pockets..

And your probably right , that if the government did get into it , they would have it FUBAR'ed in record time.

I'll step down now :lol: :lol:
 

Texan

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 3, 2004
Messages
1,887
Reaction score
0
Location
East Texas
la4angus":kxw7spow said:
I didn't say I am for mandatory COOL.
Texan I pretty much agree with you on Mandatory COOL.
Okay, LA. I stand corrected and I apologize to you for assuming you were for it just because you posted this. You are correct. We do need to be aware of what is going on. All of us.
 

greenwillowherefords

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 29, 2004
Messages
1,621
Reaction score
0
Location
Oklahoma
Texan":27yhmhi0 said:
la4angus":27yhmhi0 said:
I didn't say I am for mandatory COOL.
Texan I pretty much agree with you on Mandatory COOL.
Okay, LA. I stand corrected and I apologize to you for assuming you were for it just because you posted this. You are correct. We do need to be aware of what is going on. All of us.

Wow. :shock: :eek: :) :D :lol:
 

Texan

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 3, 2004
Messages
1,887
Reaction score
0
Location
East Texas
greenwillowherefords":2mopmsqr said:
Wow. :shock: :eek: :) :D :lol:
Willow, have you now shared with us the extent of your insight into the COOL issue?
 

ollie

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 10, 2004
Messages
984
Reaction score
0
Texan, I am one of if not the most conservative person on the board but I do see a need for cool. While I hate government can you provide a circumstance where cool could be instigated by the consumer? I think we as producers could profit off of cool and in my opinion the profit would be more than the cost. I know my wife when our freezer runs dry would prefer to purchase American beef if given the option.
 

Texan

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 3, 2004
Messages
1,887
Reaction score
0
Location
East Texas
ollie":3g7yvxu1 said:
Texan.......can you provide a circumstance where cool could be instigated by the consumer?
Ollie, it just seems to me like if enough consumers wanted it and demanded it from the retailer, the retailer would figure out a value for it and demand it from the packer. In turn, the packer would now have a fixed value on it and demand it from the feeder. Seems to me like it would eventually trickle down to the producer with the extra value/costs already attached starting at the retail level. It looks to me like the only thing stopping that is not enough consumers are really demanding it!
 

MULDOON

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 16, 2004
Messages
673
Reaction score
0
Location
Where the Stars & Stripes ,, And the Eagle fli
Texan":grhu5rtd said:
ollie":grhu5rtd said:
Texan.......can you provide a circumstance where cool could be instigated by the consumer?
Ollie, it just seems to me like if enough consumers wanted it and demanded it from the retailer, the retailer would figure out a value for it and demand it from the packer. In turn, the packer would now have a fixed value on it and demand it from the feeder. Seems to me like it would eventually trickle down to the producer with the extra value/costs already attached starting at the retail level. It looks to me like the only thing stopping that is not enough consumers are really demanding it!
So how do WE change it ? Should we make a " E-mail letter" and start E-mailing it out there?
I Nominate Texan to write the draft, Post it on here , then "we" can all look at it and maybe , "Fine tune it" ,, and then get it out there to the rest of the "consumers"
 

ollie

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 10, 2004
Messages
984
Reaction score
0
Texan":1s082208 said:
ollie":1s082208 said:
Texan.......can you provide a circumstance where cool could be instigated by the consumer?
Ollie, it just seems to me like if enough consumers wanted it and demanded it from the retailer, the retailer would figure out a value for it and demand it from the packer. In turn, the packer would now have a fixed value on it and demand it from the feeder. Seems to me like it would eventually trickle down to the producer with the extra value/costs already attached starting at the retail level. It looks to me like the only thing stopping that is not enough consumers are really demanding it!
I don't think every niech has to be demanded to prove profitable.
 

Texan

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 3, 2004
Messages
1,887
Reaction score
0
Location
East Texas
ollie":pkw9mt2b said:
I don't think every niech has to be demanded to prove profitable.
Ollie, you are right about that! I don't disagree at all. But it sure helps the profitability to start out with a good demand. And the way I see it, I want the consumer to actually pay all of the costs associated with COOL. It seems to me that if we can be sure that it came about because of consumer demand instead of government mandate, it would make that a more likely scenario.

MULDOON":pkw9mt2b said:
I Nominate Texan to write the draft...
Not interested, Muldoon! Thanks, anyway! :D
 

Callie

Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2004
Messages
18
Reaction score
0
Location
Texas
Texan":2v1ng1x4 said:
ollie":2v1ng1x4 said:
I don't think every niech has to be demanded to prove profitable.
Ollie, you are right about that! I don't disagree at all. But it sure helps the profitability to start out with a good demand. And the way I see it, I want the consumer to actually pay all of the costs associated with COOL. It seems to me that if we can be sure that it came about because of consumer demand instead of government mandate, it would make that a more likely scenario.

MULDOON":2v1ng1x4 said:
I Nominate Texan to write the draft...
Not interested, Muldoon! Thanks, anyway! :D

Texan I think a big strong real cattleman is what we need to write the draft. I agree with Muldoon.
 

Oldtimer

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 19, 2004
Messages
3,908
Reaction score
0
Location
Northeast Montana
MULDOON":a4oxbcbd said:
Texan":a4oxbcbd said:
ollie":a4oxbcbd said:
Texan.......can you provide a circumstance where cool could be instigated by the consumer?
Ollie, it just seems to me like if enough consumers wanted it and demanded it from the retailer, the retailer would figure out a value for it and demand it from the packer. In turn, the packer would now have a fixed value on it and demand it from the feeder. Seems to me like it would eventually trickle down to the producer with the extra value/costs already attached starting at the retail level. It looks to me like the only thing stopping that is not enough consumers are really demanding it!
So how do WE change it ? Should we make a " E-mail letter" and start E-mailing it out there?
I Nominate Texan to write the draft, Post it on here , then "we" can all look at it and maybe , "Fine tune it" ,, and then get it out there to the rest of the "consumers"


The first thing that would need to be done is to educate the consumers- Many don't even realize that the US imports beef ( why would such a large farm and ranch country have to import?)- let alone that we import from 40 different countries from every part of the world--- Secondly most think that the USDA inspected stamp on the package guarantees it as a US product- They don't know that beef born, raised and slaughtered in Mexico or Canada receives the same USDA inspected stamp as does beef born, raised and slaughtered in the US.

Polls show that most feel we have the safest beef in the world- but also show that most didn't know we import or that the USDA stamp does not guarantee a US product.

Education is the way to correct this- something I've always felt the beef checkoff money should have been used for--- But it is a double edged sword- If you educate and then don't have COOL so that the consumer can differentiate the foreign imported product you run the chance of losing demand for beef and negatively effecting prices.
 

ollie

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 10, 2004
Messages
984
Reaction score
0
Finally an interesting discussion. Do you men and ladies think that the reason you don't see voluntary Product of the USA on the package is the packers are afraid of exposing the things old timer talked about? Secondly will branded beef eventually be the answer to the problem.
 

Texan

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 3, 2004
Messages
1,887
Reaction score
0
Location
East Texas
Oldtimer":kvw4ydud said:
.....If you educate and then don't have COOL so that the consumer can differentiate the foreign imported product you run the chance of losing demand for beef and negatively effecting prices.
Good point, Oldtimer! I agree with you on the education. I also agree on the use of Checkoff money to do it, but then I'm in favor of doubling the checkoff, too! Something we'll never get done with the divide we've got in the industry now. Anyway, that argument about the Checkoff is worthy of a Topic of its own!
 

Oldtimer

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 19, 2004
Messages
3,908
Reaction score
0
Location
Northeast Montana
ollie":39onhswx said:
Finally an interesting discussion. Do you men and ladies think that the reason you don't see voluntary Product of the USA on the package is the packers are afraid of exposing the things old timer talked about? Secondly will branded beef eventually be the answer to the problem.


Heres a post I stole off ranchers.net that goes a long way into explaining the problem with the packers and retailers...... and this practice will just get larger as the major meat suppliers like Tyson and Cargill expand their operations into other areas of the world like the expansions going on in Australia and Brazil-- How cheap do you think they can raise beef for in Brazil?

How many on this site knew we import meat from Namibia, Nigeria, or Zambia?----------------------------- Makes me glad I butcher my own beef and seldom eat out--

This package may contain products from: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Federal Republic of Germany, Finland, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iceland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Macedonian, Mali, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia.

As you are looking through the meat case for supper and pick up the above package of meat and read the label, what would cross your mind? The next package is US BEEF, born, raised and harvested. Since you are a good shopper and looking for the best value which package would go in your cart?

According to the US Census Bureau on Foreign Trade from January 1, 2004 until July 31, 2004 the above countries provided meat imported into the US, by establishments that slaughter and prepare meats. If you were one of these establishments, would you volunteer information on the origin of the meat in the products you produce?

The big processors would like us to believe it is too expensive to put the country of origin on the label. I think the truth would be processors are afraid the consumer might not buy the geography lesson on the label at any price. The US cattle ranchers and the American consumers need Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (COOL).
 

Jake

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 20, 2003
Messages
3,778
Reaction score
5
Location
North Central Kansas
good point OldTimer, I'm not really sure on how I stand on COOL but I know that as a consumer I'd much rather buy something I knew was American.
 

Latest posts

Top