Food companies have a long history of keeping consumers in the dark about the origins of their food. But outright deception is another level of darkness. There are strong signs that global meat companies are taking advantage of a loophole to label imported beef, particularly grass-fed, as “Product of U.S.A.” That practice is hurting consumers, ranchers and our planet. The U.S.
Left a comment:
Please accept this revision and stop IMPORTED meat from enjoying the “Product of USA” label. This is a matter of justice for actual US farmers. It is also a matter of simple honesty, because dishonest labels cause consumers to lose faith.
Just because interest groups are powerful and have resources for lobbying, does not mean we should distort our labeling and mislead consumers to suit the interested parties. Please accept this revision and stop IMPORTED meat from enjoying the “Product of USA” label.
Left a comment:
"Since 1985 we have lost over 400,000 beef producers and 25 million cows. Since June 2015 those of us remaining have needlessly lost $533 per animal and have realized an unfathomable negative $331 return on each dollar invested with our two top contractors! If producers and their beef checkoff are to survive, these statistics need to be reversed! It is time for responsible checkoff reform from our congressional leaders. It is time to direct our Secretary of Agriculture to initiate beef checkoff reform immediately! "
from supporting document:
Evaluating My Beef Checkoff Return on Investment
July 7, 2016 Mike Callicrate
Country Of Origin Labeling (COOL) should also be reinstated
Thank you Common Dreams!
Simply put, don’t eat meat. It’s bad for the environment and in the quantities being consumed by most people, it is bad for you. Needless to say it’s bad for the animals. And, morally speaking, it is very bad practice to enslave and torture animals.
Real grass fed beef just tastes better - like it used to taste before big agra took over the food supply. Some of the stuff they pass off as grass fed, and at a premium price, does not taste like real grass fed beef.
If Beef can use untrue labels like 'Product of America," even if it’s not, how many other products will come into America that way? If Beef can do it, why wouldn’t other products demand the same right? But then, if that happened, no product label would have any meaning-----because even now GMO is confusing everyone.
Why can’t we have a grassfed label?
One of the most important aspects of [United Poultry Concerns and Ms. Davis’] work is the analysis and deconstruction of the Language of Agribusiness. Davis notes that, using “farm-speak,” animals are referred to as “broilers,” “layers,” “grass-fed beef,” or kept in “veal crates.” Referring to these animals by how they will be eaten serves to de-animalize them, to disengage and abstract them from the violence that ultimately leads to their commoditization — from a sentient, living being to somehow nothing but a piece of meat.
From a Marxist standpoint, it is impossible to discount the consumer capitalist enterprise in which animals are commoditized (trapped, mutilated, and killed). Animals, once they become part of the assembly line, cease to be chickens, cows, or pigs, but just another commodity. Categorizing them as “food products” allows them to be exploited as a “resource.”
So eggs laid by hens are labeled “cage free,” and cows are referred to as “grass fed beef.” The hens and cows who were harmed are made to disappear, only their “products” are visible, and they are better protected by law than the animals themselves. Thus, farmers, the media, and the courts see to it that keeping the moral issues invisible and disconnected from consumers protects business and profits.
Blah, blah. Go vegan.
The author is to be congratulated for pointing out the nutritional advantages of grass-fed beef. Apparently, a savvy public agree, and is willing to pay a 25% to 50% premium, encouraging many U.S. farmers to switch to grass-fed. This is good news for the environment, since it is during the ‘finishing off’ period that cattle are confined and fed non-grass products to fatten them up, inducing flatus and methane pollution, not to mention inhumane treatment.
Currently Cargil and Tyson self certify that their imported beef was grass-fed, ‘on their honor’. Why take these proven serial polluters at their untrustworthy words? Why not create our own ‘Certified U.S. Grass Fed’ authority? The organic movement was hugely successful, and soon copied (albeit grudgingly and imperfectly) by the USDA. ‘Certified USGF’ can be too.
Disclosure: I raise grass fed cows for my own kitchen.
Ah, ah, ah, you are missing your CLAs.
The organic movement was successful until USDA took it over. That’s when corporate farms got involved and tainted the system with little to no punishment from USDA. A substantial amount of small organic farmers are pulling out because of this corruption. Some have come together and formed a new organization.
Thanks for the link. Power to them, and may they recruit the grass-fed dairy farmers soon.
Hi Helen, well let’s see, “Grass-fed” label would be nice , but then what would most business do… add a handful of grass and then say GRASS FED. : ) Sigh–the sneaky world of advertising comes with words like"natural," so if you want something adulterated—find an ad agency and see the amazing murder of language that next appears. : )
Glad to help. I’m about to start up a small organic veg. operation, once I get everything in place, I’m going to see how much the certification fee is for my area.
And you’re missing the ethical point of moving away from animal sources of nutrients.
Authentic US grass-fed producers could use their own agreed standard designation in addition to any mandatory labeling.
“Entirely Grass-fed in USA” is 100% specific and not open to fudging.
If the animals are not confined but free to roam and forage, and the soil and environment actually benefit from their being there, most of the usual ethical points PETA proposes tend to vanish. Their last point - global energetics - will self regulate via the increasing premium in grass-fed beef prices , currently at 50%, and family planning becomes common place.
What you just proposed will encourage more US farmers to switch to grass-fed, reward them with premium prices while snatching same from Cargil and Tyson, plus muting the complaints of PETA vegetarians. Go GFUS! (Pronounced ‘gush’?)
GFUS (Grass Fed US) could very well extend to pasture fed, as in pollinators for your veggie plots. See how we can all pull together, in a harmonious eco-economic system?