WASHINGTON — Earlier this year, Montana state senator Albert Olszewski introduced a bill that would bring back a modified version of Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) for beef and pork sold within the state.
The bill would require a placard be accompanied with any livestock or poultry products offered for sale in Montana that indicates it was either “Born, Raised, and Processed in the United States“, “Processed Inside the United States” or “Processed Outside of the U.S.A“. Retailers who knowingly or purposely offer these products for sale without the placard could face a fine up to $500 or 6 months in jail, depending on the number of offenses.
In addition to reviving the COOL program, the bill would also prohibit the marketing, advertising, or labeling of cell-cultured edible products as livestock or poultry.
USCA’s Maggie Nutter of Sweetgrass, Montana issued the following statement in support of the bill:
“The United States Cattlemen’s Association remains a staunch advocate of Truth in Labeling. Alternative proteins, including plant-based ‘patties’ and cell-cultured muscle tissue, should not be allowed to ride on the coattails of beef and take advantage of our overwhelmingly favorable rating among consumers. U.S. cattle producers have invested billions of dollars into the Beef Checkoff Program to build beef’s reputation with consumers and ensure it remains America’s favorite protein.”
“I am proud of Montana for putting this issue in the public eye. Consumers are hungry to learn more about their food; our industry’s commitment to transparency creates greater consumer trust and credibility for our product. In addition to the consumer’s right to know, there is also the rancher’s right to tell. U.S. cattle producers should be able to proudly claim the origin of our beef.
“Montana ranchers and consumers should support the swift passage of this bill. I highly encourage those supportive of Truth in Labeling efforts to attend the hearing in the Montana state legislature or provide testimony in support of the bill to your state legislator.“
The first hearing for SB 206 will occur in Helena on Tuesday, February 12 at 3:00pm Mountain in Hearing Room 335. For more information, please click here.
–U.S. Cattlemen’s Association
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