Iowa Public Television


Senators Try New Tact on Labeling

posted on November 18, 2005

Several senators are proposing that the U.S. Department of Agriculture take its logo off certain cuts of imported meat, a move that could make the market more favorable for some U.S. ranchers.

Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., introduced legislation this week that would prohibit labels such as "USDA prime" or "USDA choice" on packages of imported beef and lamb. The bill, which is con-sponsored by North Dakota Democrats Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan, would prevent the Agricultural Marketing Service from grading those meats.

Johnson's bill is in response to several delays for a meat labeling law authorized in the 2002 farm bill. Originally scheduled to begin in 2004, the country-of-origin labeling was delayed two years ago until 2006, and then last month was pushed back until 2008.

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