Thune renews call for COOL law

US - The case of seven Canadian cattle that ended up at an eastern South Dakota livestock market shows the need for stronger programs to identify the origins of meat products, both on the hoof and in the box, U.S. Sen. John Thune said Wednesday.
calendar icon 2 February 2007
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During a conference call with reporters, the South Dakota Republican said livestock producers and consumers in the United States would benefit if the source of their meat was clarified. The incident with the Canadian cattle shows that weaknesses in the importation process on live cattle must be improved just as the long-delayed implementation of meat labeling must be accelerated, Thune said.

"If we know where a product is coming from when it comes into the United States and are labeling on the hoof and boxed beef when it comes across the border, we are going to be able to eliminate some of these incidents," Thune said.

Thune took action last week on meat labeling when he signed on to sponsor legislation to accelerate implementation of a country of origin labeling law approved by Congress five years ago. Through a couple of delays, President Bush and Congress blocked implementation of the law until September 2008.

The bill Thune supports would move that implementation to September 2007. Although the country of origin labeling issue is separate from the tracking of live beef that crosses the border with Canada, both are part of the overall effort to assure consumers safe food products from identifiable sources, Thune said.

Source: Rapid City

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