WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, Congressman Lance Gooden (R-Texas), joined by Congressman Ro Khanna (D-California), introduced legislation to require the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to reinstate mandatory country of origin labeling (MCOOL) for imported beef.

Rep. Lance Gooden said“American cattle ranchers are being undercut by foreign competition because current labeling standards allow imported beef to be marked as made in the United States if it is only packaged here. Our trade policies should promote American-made beef and put the hard-working cattle ranchers in the United States first.” 

“It is critical that American consumers are able to make informed decisions about the meat they buy. Consumers should be able to know that they are truly supporting American farmers and ranchers from labels at the store,” said Rep. Khanna. “Right now, consumers and producers are hurting from a lack of transparency in the marketplace. I’m glad to partner with Rep. Gooden on this bipartisan bill to reinstate common-sense mandatory country of origin labeling.”

“We greatly appreciate the work of Congressman Gooden and Khanna in continuing to push forward solutions to define what constitutes a U.S. beef product,” said Justin Tupper, vice president of the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association. “From the perspective of the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, that label should pertain only to beef that was born, raised, and harvested in the U.S.A. This legislation provides a pathway for achieving clear, accurate labels so that consumers can continue choosing to put high quality American beef on their plates.”

R-CALF USA and the TAPPPS Group said, “We applaud Representative Gooden and Khanna’s introduction of the American Beef Labeling Act in the U.S. House. This bill will empower consumers to make informed choices by requiring country-of-origin labels on beef purchased in grocery stores. Consumers should be able to choose beef produced under the United States’ stringent production and safety standards, and we trust American consumers will choose beef produced exclusively in America.”

You can read the full text of the legislation here.