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From: TSS (
Date: November 17, 2004 at 11:17 am PST

Date: November 15, 2004

Re: Update on Status of Mandatory COOL

Background: Your Senators and Representatives will return to Washington, D.C., tomorrow, Tuesday, November 16, 2004. The leadership of the House Agriculture Committee and the leadership of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture are opposed to mandatory COOL. They have expressed their intent to attach an amendment on the Omnibus Appropriations Bill that would repeal mandatory COOL and replace it with voluntary COOL. The voluntary language they want to attach has never been voted on by the full House. The only vote taken on voluntary COOL was by the House Agriculture Committee. The effort to repeal mandatory COOL is expected to take place this week in the Omnibus Appropriations Bill.

Status: Our best opportunity to preserve mandatory COOL is to convince the House leadership and Senate leadership not to allow this type of procedural move, which has the effect of circumventing our democratic process. Even Congressional Members who may not support mandatory COOL should object to this effort on the grounds that mandatory COOL is an important issue and should not be derailed by this type of procedural maneuver.

Action: If you want to help defend mandatory COOL, call your Senators and Representatives first thing tomorrow morning. Tell them you are a cattle producer in their district and ask them to contact their leadership to tell them mandatory COOL is too important to let a handful of opponents defeat it by using a clever procedural maneuver that prevents congressional debate by both houses of Congress.

You can reach your Senators and Representatives by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and asking for them by name.

Good luck

Nearly 100 Organizations Ask Congress to Keep COOL
USAgNet - 11/17/2004

Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America of Billings, Montana, said it was one of 95 agriculture-related organizations that signed on to a joint letter to several U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee leaders urging them to oppose any amendments to weaken or repeal the mandatory country-of-origin labeling law put in place by the 2002 Farm Bill.

The coalition sending the letter calls itself "Americans for Country of Origin Labeling" and collectively represents more than 50 million U.S. voters, R-CALF said.

The letter states, in part: "American consumers and producers have time and again voiced their united support for mandatory COOL. Those involved with the production of meat, fruits, vegetables, peanuts and seafood remain committed to mandatory COOL as do more than 80 percent of consumers. Replacing the 2002 Farm Bill's mandatory COOL program with a voluntary program does not and will not provide consumers the benefit of knowing from where their food comes, nor does it allow U.S. producers a new marketing opportunity."

Once the Omnibus Appropriations Bill reaches both houses of Congress for a vote, the bill will likely be accompanied by very strict rules that will require the bill to be accepted or rejected in its entirety - without any changes or additions.


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