An open letter to Sen. Schmitt, Sen. Hawley.
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  2. Mo.
  3. Letter

An Open Letter

To: Sen. Schmitt, Sen. Hawley

From: A verified voter in Jefferson City, MO

May 29

Missouri lost 10,000 cattle operations from 2017-2022 on your watch while meatpackers import billions of pounds of beef every year from countries all around the world. Include the American Beef Labeling Act in the 2024 Farm Bill! Both independent cattle producers and consumers are being negatively impacted by the U.S. not ensuring transparency through country of origin labeling (COOL). The flawed 2015 WTO ruling against our COOL law is not a valid excuse. You in Congress and our United States Trade Representative (USTR) should pass and implement COOL for meat, and negotiate with our trade partners to ensure our right to know where our meat comes from and if it's imported from other countries. Consumers can make informed decisions based on their priorities, including supporting U.S. livestock producers. In 2023, the United States imported 3.7 billion pounds of boxed beef and 2 million live cattle. This allows multi-national and foreign owned meatpackers to use imports to undercut prices paid to U.S. producers and raise prices to consumers. Consumers overwhelmingly support COOL — a 2017 Consumer Federation of America survey found that 89% of consumers support country of origin labeling. COOL would help ensure family farmers get paid a living wage, can stay on the land raising livestock and pass farms down to the next generation. Get busy!

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