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House Votes to Postpone Meat Labels in Grocery Stores
AP ^ | AP-ES-06-08-05 2021EDT

Posted on 06/08/2005 5:38:52 PM PDT by TheOtherOne

House Votes to Postpone Meat Labels in Grocery Stores

By Libby Quaid Associated Press Writer
Published: Jun 8, 2005 WASHINGTON (AP) - The House voted Wednesday to block the government from requiring labels that would tell shoppers from what country their meat comes.

Congress already had postponed the labeling from its original date of 2004 to September 2006. The House action would stop the Agriculture Department from spending money on the new requirement.

The postponement was part of a $100 billion spending bill for food and farm programs in the budget year that begins Oct. 1. The House passed the bill by 408-18 vote Wednesday.

Western ranchers had counted on the labels to help sell their beef, Rep. Stephanie Herseth said.

"Instead, the large meatpackers have rallied to kill this program because they don't want American consumers to discover how much meat in the grocery case is actually imported," said Herseth, D-S.D.

Rep. Denny Rehberg, a rancher, said Texas cattle producers are fighting the labels because they do not want shoppers to know that the cattlemen buy cheap Mexican calves to fatten and sell in the U.S.

"It's time we send a message to those who are standing in the way, and allow us the opportunity to tell the American consumer: born, raised and processed in America means something," said Rehberg, R-Mont.

Rehberg tried to amend the bill to let the labeling proceed as planned. The House refused on a 240-187 vote.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the House Agriculture Committee chairman, said the labels would do the opposite of what was intended, adding $10 per head of cattle to ranchers' costs. Industry estimates are that it could cost the industry as much as $4 billion in the first year.

"It will make our producers less competitive with foreign meat producers, not more competitive," said Goodlatte, R-Va.

Rep. Henry Bonilla, R-Texas, said labeling will raise beef prices for consumers because stores could be sued for mistakes in labeling.

Goodlatte has introduced legislation to repeal the labeling mandate for meat. Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., are planning similar legislation.

Congress passed country-of-origin labeling as part of the 2002 Farm Bill. The delay applies only to meat and meat products; labels went into effect in April for fish and shellfish.

The food labels apply to supermarkets and other retail stores but not to restaurants.

The spending bill, which would provide about $100 billion for the Agriculture Department and Food and Drug Administration, would:

-Cut nearly $6 million from the FDA's budget for next year because the White House directed acting administrator Lester Crawford not to testify before the panel. The cuts are in administrative costs, not drug safety, at FDA, which has an overall budget of $1.5 billion.

-Allow consumers, pharmacists and wholesalers to buy cheaper prescription drug imports from Canada or other countries by keeping FDA from spending money to stop the drug sales.

-Stop the slaughter of U.S. horses to feed customers in Europe and Asia. The bill would prohibit Agriculture Department inspections of horse meat to be shipped overseas for human consumption, which would have the effect of barring the slaughter.

-Boost spending on food stamps by 16 percent to $40.7 billion. The Agriculture Department program has grown steadily, both because of recession and unemployment and because the government has signed up people who were not receiving food stamps even though they were eligible. Spending would also grow for school lunches and other nutrition programs.

-Cut conservation spending by $37 million for a total of $794 million. Agriculture Department programs such as the Conservation Reserve Program pay farmers to help the environment by taking sensitive land out of production.

The Senate must pass its version of the spending bill, and a conference committee must resolve differences between the two versions before Congress can vote on a final version.

---

On the Net:

Information on the spending bill, H.R. 2744, can be found at http://thomas.loc.gov/

AP-ES-06-08-05 2021EDT


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 109th; beef; congress; countryoforigin; farmbill; hr2744; labeling; meat; ranching; usda
The House voted Wednesday to block the government from requiring labels that would tell shoppers from what country their meat comes.

That just sounds so strange.

1 posted on 06/08/2005 5:38:53 PM PDT by TheOtherOne
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To: TheOtherOne
Oh.. a "mad cow flavored steaks" label works for me.
2 posted on 06/08/2005 5:41:56 PM PDT by Random Nonsense
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To: TheOtherOne

It's good to know they're focusing on the vital issues...


3 posted on 06/08/2005 5:45:24 PM PDT by Redgirl (I actually voted for John Kerry before I voted against him.)
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To: TheOtherOne
"-Boost spending on food stamps by 16 percent to $40.7 billion. The Agriculture Department program has grown steadily, both because of RECESSION and unemployment and because the government has signed up people who were not receiving food stamps even though they were eligible. Spending would also grow for school lunches and other nutrition programs."

What recession? Once again, MSM is fudging the news... Big surprise.
4 posted on 06/08/2005 5:49:37 PM PDT by Adiemus
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To: TheOtherOne

bookmark for later printing about politicians that are bought off.


5 posted on 06/08/2005 6:02:59 PM PDT by IrishCatholic (No local communist or socialist party chapter? Join the Democrats, it's the same thing.)
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To: TheOtherOne

Rep. Denny Rehberg, a rancher, said Texas cattle producers are fighting the labels because they do not want shoppers to know that the cattlemen buy cheap Mexican calves to fatten and sell in the U.S.

''It's time we send a message to those who are standing in the way, and allow us the opportunity to tell the American consumer: born, raised and processed in America means something,'' said Rehberg, R-Montana.

Steer envy. Especially since the imports from Canuckistan have been halted. BTW, Mexican & Canadian cattle are 'American' cattle.

6 posted on 06/08/2005 6:13:14 PM PDT by elli1
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To: TheOtherOne

If I could find it, I would buy American meet only...Course that's what 'our representatives' are afraid of...


7 posted on 06/08/2005 7:26:55 PM PDT by Iscool (You mess with me, you mess with the WHOLE trailer park!!!)
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To: TheOtherOne

anything and everything to advance the global trade agenda.


8 posted on 06/08/2005 7:29:30 PM PDT by oceanview
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To: oceanview

Let's stamp all the produce you buy in January with a country of origin sticker so you can boycott that, too.


9 posted on 06/08/2005 7:33:22 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Dog Gone

Let's stamp all the produce you buy in January with a country of origin sticker so you can boycott that, too.



Let's really take it a step farther and separate out the petroleum products by country of orgin and see how the boycott works.


10 posted on 06/08/2005 7:40:41 PM PDT by deport (Women always get the last say in an argument.. anything after that is the start of a new argument)
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To: Iscool
If I could find it, I would buy American meet only...Course that's what 'our representatives' are afraid of...

I would too. Last time I was in Hong Kong, I ate at Ruths Chris. Anyway, the waiter announced, sadly, they did not have USDA beef due to mad cow and would I accept Austrailian beef. Of course, being in HK, I was dying for a steak and some wine...so I accepted.

11 posted on 06/08/2005 7:46:36 PM PDT by TheOtherOne
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To: TheOtherOne

Okay, who voted Against the labeling bill? Newsflash to the GOP: When the multinationals tell you to jump, there's nothing in the Republican Party platform that says you you HAVE to ask, "how high?".

This is just one more drop in the Chinese Water Torture of the American people. At some point there's going to be a backlash, and it won't be pretty.


12 posted on 06/08/2005 7:47:27 PM PDT by kms61
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To: deport
The horror. Much of it is Mexican!!!
13 posted on 06/08/2005 7:48:04 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Dog Gone
The horror. Much of it is Mexican!!!

I once heard...

Mexcan beef is to US beef, as Mexcan pot is to US pot.

14 posted on 06/08/2005 7:50:22 PM PDT by TheOtherOne
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To: Dog Gone
Let's stamp all the produce you buy in January with a country of origin sticker so you can boycott that, too.

Hmm, there are other reasons than that for knowing country of origin. Here in Florida (don't know about the other states) country of origin is posted with produce.

Which I like, for several reasons. A)I can walk past the grapes from Chile because they are nowhere near as tasty as the CA ones. B) Some countries, like Mexico, are pretty liberal with pesticides and chemicals that might give one pause about purchasing. Or, at least giving the stuff a thorough washing.

Besides, if someone decides they don't want to eat XXX from country yyy because the women are ugly. So what, that's their business. And privilege. Thankfully, we're not yet the EU.

15 posted on 06/08/2005 7:56:55 PM PDT by ChildOfThe60s (If you can remember the 60s......you weren't really there.)
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To: TheOtherOne
I've found that Mexican beef in Mexico isn't very good, and I'm not qualified on the pot issue.

But if the labeling issue is about whether live calves come in from Mexico and eventually have to be labeled as Mexican after being raised here, that's just stupid.

16 posted on 06/08/2005 7:59:34 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: ChildOfThe60s
I guess it's okay to make some generalizations about a country or a region, but none of us have any idea how any produce was raised, whether domestically or abroad. It's a crapshoot no matter what.
17 posted on 06/08/2005 8:07:41 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Abram; AlexandriaDuke; Annie03; Baby Bear; bassmaner; Bernard; BJClinton; BlackbirdSST; ...
Libertarian ping.To be added or removed from my ping list freepmail me or post a message here
18 posted on 06/08/2005 10:16:15 PM PDT by freepatriot32 (www.lp.org)
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To: Iscool

I want to know where my meat comes from and I too would buy only American if I could....guess the wimply congressmen know that and are trying to protect their "friends" who want to sell cheap meat from other countries....


19 posted on 06/08/2005 10:18:50 PM PDT by cherry
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To: cherry

Same here. Given the choice between buying American and not, I buy American. Given a choice between certain other countries, there are some I'd prefer to support. If we're going to keep funding the FDA and the Dept of Agriculture, seems like the least they could do.

I'd rather see them both closed.


20 posted on 06/09/2005 4:32:23 AM PDT by SoVaDPJ
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To: TheOtherOne

Why aren't these ranchers lobbying their customers, or the grocery store organizations? What is stopping them from labeling their American beef? Why do they need the force of Government to do their marketing?


21 posted on 06/09/2005 6:17:05 AM PDT by CSM ( If the government has taken your money, it has fulfilled its Social Security promises. (dufekin))
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To: CSM
Why aren't these ranchers lobbying their customers, or the grocery store organizations? What is stopping them from labeling their American beef? Why do they need the force of Government to do their marketing?

BINGO! We have a winner for the MOST APPROPRIATE question on this subject. But ARTICLE I, SECTION 8 of the CONSTITUTION (remember THAT document???), together with AMENDMENT X -- PROHIBIT the Federal gummint from even touching it.  Oh, I almost forgot -- the SCOTUS says the "commerce" clause invalidates those two provisions.

22 posted on 06/09/2005 7:10:03 AM PDT by FreeKeys ("Were we directed from [DC] when to sow and when to reap, we would soon want bread."-T.J.)
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