October 17, 2008


US Tyson Food to meet requirements of country-of-origin labeling



National Farmers Union President Tom Buis made the following statement today upon receiving letters by Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc., Senior Group Vice President James Lochner.


It was indicated in the letter that Tyson plans to meet the intent of mandatory country-of-origin labeling, or COOL, by labeling the majority of their beef and pork products as USA.


In letters to cattle and hog producers, along with retail customers, Tyson recognises that around 90 percent of all fresh retail beef and pork cuts meet the definition of USA and would qualify for the label as directed in the 2008 Farm Bill.


The whole intent and purpose of COOL is to provide American consumers with the knowledge of their food's origin. From the farmer and rancher perspective, they are proud of the food produced in the US and want consumers to be able to differentiate their products in the grocery store. Despite the clear language in the 2008 Farm Bill, they learned just a few weeks ago that meat packers had intended to circumvent the law and label everything with a US-Canada-Mexico, or NAFTA, label, which was never part of the farm bill agreement.

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