Industry executives respond to meat labeling guideline

Country of origin labeling law gets mixed reactions from cattle producers

Jeff Bunn

Capital Journal

The announcement that a label, 16 years in the making, will be placed on meat in grocery stores by the fall has been met with varying degrees of enthusiasm by cattle-producer groups in the state.

On Monday, Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., announced the guidelines for country of origin labeling had been released to the public and will take effect Sept. 30 with a six-month compliance period.

The act has been a priority for Johnson since 1992 and cattle-producer groups such as R-CALF that want consumers to know where the beef they buy is from. At the same time, groups for the measure feel it allows U.S. cattle producers the opportunity to market their homegrown beef.

But the provision has faced “years of foot-dragging by the United States Department of Agriculture” and “obstruction from the White House,” according to a Johnson press release.

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