AMI Masterminds Anti-COOL Campaign27 June 2007
Washington, D.C. - The American Meat Institute (AMI) has stepped up its efforts against mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL) by running false advertising in Roll Call and on radio stations across the country. R-CALF USA also believes that AMI is circulating misleading anti-COOL letters to Congress – misleading because the text makes the correspondence seem as if an actual livestock producer had authored the letters.
“It’s important that R-CALF step up and publicly reveal the connection that shows AMI is trying to deceive producers, the public – and Congress, into thinking these letters originated from a producer rather than a packer organization,”
R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard
“It’s important that R-CALF step up and publicly reveal the connection that shows AMI is trying to deceive producers, the public – and Congress, into thinking these letters originated from a producer rather than a packer organization,” said R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard.
“The meatpackers’ whole strategy is to deceive the public by masquerading as livestock farmers and ranchers,” he emphasized. “AMI represents packers and processors – not producers, and the language in these letters is just as deceptive as the Roll Call ad.”
In the ad that appears in Roll Call, AMI claims the United States already has a country-of-origin labeling program for imported meat and poultry, and cites finished products like Danish hams, marked with ‘product of Denmark’ and New Zealand lamb marked with “Product of New Zealand” as examples.
“AMI’s spin is a charade,” Bullard continued. “AMI knows full well that once the meatpacker or retailer ‘unwraps’ the package of foreign meat that arrives in the U.S. clearly labeled with the country of origin, that the meatpackers and retailers are no longer required to convey that information to consumers.
“Only products that reach the consumer in the very same form and package as when they were imported are country-of-origin labels retained for consumers,” he emphasized. “As a result, consumers can’t tell if they are buying Canadian, Uruguayan, Chilean, Japanese or Mexican beef at the grocery store meat counter. This is why consumers so desperately need mandatory COOL.”