July 15, 2004
July 15, 2004 -- American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) President Guy Flora communicated in late May the industry's long-standing support for mandatory labeling to Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Charles Stenholm (D-TX), chairman and ranking member of the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture, respectively.
At press time, the two representatives were scheduled to introduce legislation that would replace mandatory country-of-origin labeling, slated for implementation in 2006, with a voluntary program.
"We have consistently relayed our support of mandatory labeling," says Flora. "We ask for every consideration that lamb be removed from this debate, and that it be allowed to go forward with mandatory labeling."
The American Farm Bureau Federation and the Texas Sheep & Goat Raisers' Association also sent letters opposing the voluntary COOL legislation.
In related news, Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD) introduced on May 20, 2004, legislation to restore the country-of-origin labeling (COOL) implementation deadline to September 2004.
The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) has pushed for mandatory COOL legislation for years. U.S. sheep industry leaders addressed the issue with federal policy makers during the annual ASI spring trip conducted in late April.
A two-year delay of the COOL law for all commodities except fish was included in the 2004 omnibus spending bill.