Commentary by Bill Bullard, CEO, R-CALF USA
Billings, MT | Let’s pretend for a moment that we’re conspiracy theorists. And let’s start by imagining a future where the products you buy all look the same, they are not distinguished as to where they are made, and you have no information on the product as to who made it or how it was made.
Let’s consider cars. What would happen if all the car companies adopted the same perfect body styling and power train, and they all began turning out essentially identical cars. And let’s imagine that there is no brand name on those identical cars such as Chevy, Ford, Kia, Nissan, or Dodge…a car is just a car and you don’t know who built it, how it was built, or where it was built.
As a savvy consumer, when you go out to buy one of these cars, which have now been made into a commodity and, therefore, are now commoditized, then your best bet would be to find a retailer who will sell you the car for the lowest price. After all, a car is just a car.
And what if you’re an upstart car manufacturer and want to break into the car business with improved production standards and simply a better though identical looking car? Fat chance! And that’s because consumers won’t know which one is yours in a retail market where a car is just a car.
Now that’s pretty extreme. But it exemplifies the untenable position that America’s cattle farmers and ranchers face today. They apply the most stringent production standards in the raising of their cattle and the beef derived from their cattle is subject to the highest health and safety standards; and, yet, the beef from their cattle is not distinguished in your grocery store. The superior beef produced in America sits side by side foreign beef that is not required to meet identical U.S. production and safety standards. But you, the consumer, cannot tell a U.S. beef product from a foreign beef product.
Now you know why we need your help to persuade Congress to pass mandatory country of origin labeling (MCOOL) for beef.
But let’s get back to pretending we’re conspiracy theorists. What if there was some global organization working to ensure that consumers can never know where the food or other products they purchase were produced? What if the only information this global organization wants you, as a consumer, to know is that the product was made on planet earth?
Now that sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Sadly, it’s not crazy at all…it’s reality. You see the global tribunal known as the World Trade Organization (WTO), which by the way is holding Congress at bay from allowing mandatory country of origin labels on your beef, has been proudly promoting the origin declaration of “Made in the World.” The WTO even designed a logo and label for their Made in the World initiative – it’s a depiction of planet earth with arrows swirling around it.
The WTO stated that “the country of origin of goods has gradually become obsolete as various operations, from design to manufacture of components and assembly, have spread across the world.”
The editor of Manufacturing News stated in regard to the WTO’s globalism:
The WTO's Made in the World initiative is part of a process of "re-engineering global governance."
The editor also described the purpose of the WTO's “Made in the World” promotion, stating it was “created to modernize global trade statistics and reduce public opposition to free trade.”
With the WTO actively promoting its Made in the World label, which is the antithesis of a country-of-origin label, does it surprise anyone that the WTO would work aggressively to prevent Congress from enacting S.52, the American Beef Labeling Act, or H.R. 5081 the Country of Origin Labeling Enforcement Act of 2023.
That’s exactly what’s happening. And that should make you angry. Why would Congress continue to adhere to this nonsensical globalism espoused by the global elites at the WTO against the rights of American consumers and American cattlemen and women who want all beef labeled in your grocery store as to its country of origin.
You see, they don’t want you to have a choice. They want to commoditize beef to make foreign beef interchangeable with American beef. In actuality, they’re already applying the somewhat extreme car example I describe earlier…to them, beef is beef and, well, there’s just no reason to let consumers make their own choices.
There’s one way to stop this nonsense. Please call your two Senators and your Representative to urge them to include mandatory country of origin labeling for beef in the 2023 Farm Bill.
There’s a certainty associated with this request. If you don’t voice your opinion to your congressional delegation, they can not know it. And if they don’t know what it is you want, they’ll do absolutely nothing to get it for you.
So good luck with your calls and thank you!
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R-CALF USA’s weekly commentary educates and informs both consumers and producers about timely issues important to the U.S. cattle and sheep industries and rural America.
Ranchers Cattlemen Action Legal Fund United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF USA) is the largest producer-only trade association in the United States. It is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle and sheep industries. Visit www.r-calfusa.com or call 406-252-2516 for more information.