Wednesday, December 18, 2013

New COOL Rules will boost local meat economies

Rady Ananda
Activist Post

Country of Origin Labels may seem an obscure food issue, but they go to the heart of the ongoing battle to preserve food freedom as a fully informed individual choice, and to the heart of the battle to preserve food sovereignty so that nations can determine their own food laws despite international trade agreements.

Since Nov. 25, grocers, meatpackers and other firms began labeling meat not only where the animal was born, but also where it was raised and slaughtered, as part of the US Dept. of Agriculture’s tighter COOL rules. The new rules were written in May, but gave firms six months to come into compliance. The USDA describes COOL as being about consumer information rather than food safety.

“After more than a decade,” said R-CALF’s Bill Bullard in an email to me, “U.S. producers can finally differentiate their U.S. beef produced exclusively in the U.S. from the growing tide of imported beef.”

Bullard works through the Ranchers Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America (“R-CALF USA”), a national, nonprofit trade association that exclusively represents the interests of independent cattle producers within the multi-segmented U.S. beef supply chain. He is among those who pushed for Country of Origin labeling for years, confident that anyone concerned about food miles or how their meat was processed would opt for USA meat.

“Marketplace competition can no longer occur without COOL,” Bullard explained, adding, “COOL allows U.S. cattle farmers and ranchers to highlight their product to U.S. consumers whom we believe will choose our exclusively U.S. produced product if they can identify it in the market.”



Corporate food giants oppose the labels and filed a federal lawsuit asserting that by compelling speech, the government is abridging the corporation’s First Amendment rights. (In the past 120 years, courts have, a tiny step at a time, given fictitious corporate charters personhood status with Bill of Rights protections. It’s insane, I know.)

Under the new rules, meatpackers and others can no longer comingle animals or slaughtered meat. Formerly, that burger you got could have come from 3 different continents.

“That’s what this fight is all about,” Bullard said, “Farmers and ranchers want competition while the meatpackers and their allies want to control the market.”

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack believes the World Trade Organization should resolve the issue, sacrificing national sovereignty for one world government.

Three trade partners already objected to an earlier COOL law that only required labeling where an animal was born. Canada, Mexico and Nicaragua asserted at the WTO that it violated trade agreements. On appeal in 2012, the WTO agreed, but will likely review the new, tighter rules.

Meanwhile, since late November and for at least another year, US shoppers will know where meat was born, raised and slaughtered, which should boost the Buy Local movement.

Recently by Rady Ananda:
Rady Ananda is the creator of Food Freedom News and COTO Report, Rady Ananda's work has appeared in several online and print publications, including four books. With a B.S. in Natural Resources from Ohio State University’s School of Agriculture, Rady tweets @geobear7 and @RadysRant.




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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is very cool, so to speak. Since American factory farm beef is loaded with antibiotics and GMO/glyphosate feed we can now choose healthy South American and Australian organic beef. Thank you!!

Laura Beth said...

This is just another way to keep meat on the table, as unhealthy and egregiously violent as eating it is. Going back to the way "it was" before the diabolic, infectious disease manifesting, egregiously barbaric factory farm system, is NOT the answer humanity, the animals, or the environment need to heal. A plant strong diet is FAR superior, requires a fraction of resources, respects and gives animals BACK the autonomy ( demand drops, breeding stops, torture stops).
Looking at humans as top of the food chain, dominionism, speciesism, anthopocentrism, narcissism, is merely another version of Apartied, Jim Crow, KKK to animals. It changes NOTHING about the root seed that all violent acts were born of, human domestication ( enslaving and abducting animals reproductive organs for our own)of sentient beings. SEE EARTHLINGS and THE GHOST IN OUR MACHINE... Animal slaughter is the ugliest, darkest, merciless behavior humans participate in and the required desensitization affects every layer of society.

Anonymous said...

Romans 14:1-23
As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.

Laura Beth said...

The "Bible" has been used to justify every act of cruelty mankind uses it to justify. Th Torah obligates us and guides us, in Genesis 1:29, to consume the holiest, non-violent foods that Gd gifted humanity with. Our lust for flesh has given rise to a world of violence. NOTHING about mankind's behavior has changed since the first flood where we acted like we do today, every choice, every decision, based on self serving greedy and thoughtless gratification of self. OPINION! This is NOT about opinion, and the STRONGER eat vegetables, the weak succumb to lust for flesh that results in disease, threats from zoonatic infectious diseases, and weak organs from eating what makes them WEAK. We still, as a species, get it upside down and backwards. The world today IS a reflection of your scripture and it is NOT working. LOOK at animal slaughter! It's NOT about you or me, it IS about CHOOSING to end mindless, merciless, relentless suffering and the ego mania required to continue it.

David A. Laibow said...

I don't live in the U.S., so this doesn't affect me at all. Here in Asia, I don't eat beef at all -- I prefer chicken, fish and pork, most of which is locally grown by farmers who won't use GMOs or additives in what the creatures are fed. Many old-fashioned Catholic farmers, and Muslim farmers won't use "Monsanto" brand anything because they believe that "MO" stands for Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency. For better or worse, they believe ardently that use of any Monsanto product means that their children will be taken from them and forcibly converted to Judaism, and the children will never see their parents again. Speaking as a Jew, I can only observe that anti-Semitism can have its uses.
The high fat content in beef has an adverse effect on blood pressure, which is why I don't consume it. I'm David Laibow, and you may contact me at "caballafamily[at]yahoo.com" at any time, about any subject.

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