U.S. Reps. Lance Gooden, R-Texas, and Ro Khanna, D-Calif., recently introduced legislation to require the U.S. Trade Representative to reinstate mandatory country of origin labeling (MCOOL) for imported beef.

“American cattle ranchers are being undercut by foreign competition because current labeling standards allow imported beef to be marked as made in the United States if it is only packaged here," Gooden said. "Our trade policies should promote American-made beef and put the hard-working cattle ranchers in the United States first.” 

Khanna noted the consumer and labeling transparency protections in the legislation. 

“It is critical that American consumers are able to make informed decisions about the meat they buy," Khanna  said. "Consumers should be able to know that they are truly supporting American farmers and ranchers from labels at the store. Right now, consumers and producers are hurting from a lack of transparency in the marketplace. I’m glad to partner with Rep. Gooden on this bipartisan bill to reinstate common-sense mandatory country of origin labeling.”

The legislation states that "Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the United States Trade Representative, in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture, shall determine a means of reinstating mandatory country of origin labeling for beef ... .'