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Texas cattlemen pledge funding to defend COOL
The Independent Cattlemen’s Association of Texas (ICA) has stepped up to defend Texas ranchers in the ongoing legal battle to defend Country of Origin Labeling (COOL). At their September quarterly meeting, the ICA state directors voted unanimously to support and pledge funding to the legal defense of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s COOL rules.
A lawsuit brought by COOL opponents, including the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Canadian cattle and pork producers, and meat packers, is now in federal court and if successful could flood the U.S. markets with unidentified foreign beef.
The plaintiffs argue that the COOL rules are too expensive to comply with and discriminate against foreign beef, especially from Canada and Mexico. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, along with the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, the National Farmers Union, and several consumer groups -- which have intervened in the lawsuit -- are defending the right of U.S. beef producers to identify their cattle and label their beef products as “Born, Raised, and Processed in the United States”.
ICA President Phil Sadler of Golden said, “Texas ranchers deserve the ability to identify their beef. We have worked hard to develop the safest and highest quality products and the consumer deserves to know the origin of their beef. We have lost too many jobs already to foreign countries and we will fight to keep ranching viable in the United States.”
The first hurdle in the battle to defend COOL was won by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and ranchers, as the federal district hearing the suit denied a motion for a temporary injunction. Canadian and Mexican cattlemen, packer groups, and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association had brought suit asking the court to stop the implementation of COOL. The presiding judge ruled against the injunction and in favor of the Ag Department and the groups representing ranchers and consumers. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association has now decided to appeal the ruling, so the court battle continues.
The Independent Cattlemen’s Association of Texas has more than 8,000 members across the state and is committed to protecting the rights of Texas ranchers.
For more information, call 512-620-0162 or visit www.icatexas.com.
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