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Electric bus movement looks to accelerate; Macron says he has not ruled out using Western troop to help Ukraine stand-up to Russia; two rural Iowa newspapers saved from extinction; BLM announces added protections for sensitive Oregon landscape.

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Speaker Johnson commits to avoiding a government shutdown. Republican Senators call for a trial of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. And a Democratic Senator aims to ensure protection for IVF nationwide.

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David meets Goliath in Idaho pesticide conflict, to win over Gen Z voters, candidates are encouraged to support renewable energy and rural America needs help from Congress to continue affordable internet programs.

USDA Rule Would Reform 'Made in USA' Meat Labeling

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Monday, March 13, 2023   

Ranching and agriculture groups say the federal government has taken a positive step in ensuring truth in labeling on meat from the United States, and they want Congress to go further.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has proposed a rule to only allow voluntary "Product of U.S.A." labeling on meat, poultry and eggs derived from animals born, raised, slaughtered and processed in the country.

Current loopholes allow companies to import meat from other countries and stick this label on even if it is only processed in the U.S.

Jeanie Alderson, a southeastern Montana rancher and member of the Northern Plains Resource Council, said the loophole makes current labels misleading.

"Fraudulent labeling really betrays American ranchers and our rural communities and consumers by misrepresenting imported beef as American," Alderson asserted.

The USDA will take public comment for 60 days after the proposed rule change is published in the
Federal Register.

The proposed rule pointed out other labels which might be acceptable. For example, it said "sliced and packaged in the United States using imported pork" would work, as long as it is accurate. Alderson appreciates the USDA's rule but argued members of Congress need to go further and restore mandatory country-of-origin labeling.

"A true free market depends on transparency," Alderson contended. "We need that information, and consumers can't make informed decisions without that. And so we need a free market, we need a fair market, and consumers deserve to know where their food's coming from."

Lawmakers, including Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., have reintroduced the American Beef Labeling Act, which includes mandatory country-of-origin labeling. This labeling requirement was repealed in 2015.


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