The Roundup -

A Steak in Ag

 


R-CALF USA may be defined as a non-profit producer organization, but our work benefits anyone who eats meat and lives in an economy that includes agriculture. We’re more than a producer organization; we’re your organization!

USDA Approves Checkoff Advertisements Featuring “North American Beef”

Last February R-CALF USA submitted a complaint to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack alleging unlawful use of U.S. beef checkoff program dollars in advertisements that improperly encouraged consumption of “North American Beef.”

In response, USDA Under Secretary Edward Avalos decided that using beef checkoff program funds to pay for promotional advertisements featuring “North American beef” complies with the beef checkoff program because he viewed the advertisements as referencing, not promoting, North American beef.

The USDA prohibits U.S. cattle producers from using their beef checkoff funds to promote and advertise their USA beef – beef that is born, raised and slaughtered in the United States.

This is truly an outrageous decision as USDA does not even have a definition for “North American beef.” The North America continent includes Central America and the Islands of the Caribbean Sea.

USDA is sanctioning consumer deception by approving government-mandated advertisements that mislead consumers into believing that their Wendy’s burger may have originated in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduas or Panama.

Former GIPSA Chief Dudley Butler sends an open letter to industrial agriculture activist Steve Dittmer.

In addition to calling Dittmer’s writings “yellow journalism” and asserting the activist has a penchant for “fiction disguised as the truth,” Butler provided facts to dispel the myths that leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives continually espouse to block USDA from finalizing the rule that Butler had proposed.

Responding to the activists’ false claim that the GIPSA rule would eliminate value added programs, Butler stated his rule did not affect legitimate value added premiums and discounts but it did protect all farmers and ranchers from discriminatory pricing and other deceptive practices.

Butler also staunchly defended his belief that the NCBA “has lost its way by placing big meat packers and retail interests over cattlemen’s interests.”

His letter states: “Why does NCBA fight country of origin labeling? The consumers want it, but the packers don’t. Why does NCBA fight the GIPSA rules that deal with unfair practices? Most farmers and ranchers want rules ensuring fair trade, but the packers don’t.

R-CALF USA continues to explain to members of Congress that they have been misled by industrial agriculture activists like Dittmer and the NCBA and that domestic livestock producers deserve the protections accorded them by antitrust legislation like the Packers and Stockyards Act; but, he said, “Such protections cannot be extended to domestic farmers and ranchers unless the GIPSA rule is first finalized.”

All letters, comments and presentations mentioned above are available at http://www.r-calfusa.com.

Make plans to attend the R-CALF USA Convention Aug. 29-30 in Cheyenne, Wyo, and hear from experts on issues affecting the U.S. cattle and sheep industries. For more information visit http://www.r-calfusa.com.

R-CALF USA is solely funded by donations and member dues. Please consider becoming a member. For more info or to join, go to http://www.r-calfusa.com, 406-252-2516.

 

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