All indications now suggest farm-bill conferees will indeed push to bring the legislation to the floor this week after House members meet Monday to discuss final details of the legislation.
Groups that support leaving country-of-origin meat labeling untouched have been making a final push over the weekend to discourage farm-bill conferees from changing the language.
National Farmers Union and some of its state affiliates have issued statements or urged members to voice their concerns. The U.S. Cattlemen's Association and the Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund have also issued statements supporting USDA's new rule for born, raised and slaughtered animals.
Jon Wooster, president of USCA, stated that his group remains steadfastly in support of the new USDA rule. Also, any changes in COOL would affect the group's support for the legislation.
"USDA and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) continue to relay that the revised COOL regulations implemented on November 23, 2013 bring the U.S. into compliance with a ruling by the World Trade Organization (WTO). Congressional intervention in COOL is unwarranted and would only disrupt the WTO process that is currently underway. We urge Congress to support U.S. producers and consumers by rejecting any amendments to the farm bill that would alter or repeal the program," Wooster said.
In an action alert, R-CALF encouraged its members to email Republican senators and congressmen, asking them to defend COOL.
"Action: The most important thing we can do now to protect COOL is to have Republican Senators and Representatives contact their Republicans colleagues on the Farm Bill Conference Committee.
"Please call your congressional delegations over the weekend and urge them to make no changes to COOL. Be sure to tell your Republican Senators and Representatives that you want them to contact their Republican Colleagues on the Farm Bill Conference Committee.
"Our message is simple: Make No Changes to COOL in the Farm Bill!"
DTN Political Correspondent Jerry Hagstrom reported in the Hagstrom Report Saturday that "conferees and staff were still debating this weekend the issue of whether to make changes to the country-of-origin labeling program for red meat."
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