In Billings, Tester Highlights Bipartisan Legislation Ensuring Only American Beef is Labeled “Product of the USA”

Senator’s legislation brings back Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (MCOOL)

As a part of his continued effort to level the playing field for Montana’s beef producers, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today unveiled his bipartisan American Beef Labeling Act in Billings with community leaders and ranchers from Yellowstone County.

Tester was joined by Operations Director of R-CALF USA Candace Bullard, Columbus Rancher and Member of the United States Cattlemen’s Association Leo McDonnell, and Corine Thatcher Day of the of the Yellowstone Valley Citizen Council’s Community Food Campaign.

“Montana producers raise the best beef in the world, and it’s time that folks know for certain when they’re buying American beef at the supermarket,” said Tester. “Beef raised in the U-S-A faces the strictest standards to ensure the highest quality of meat. My bipartisan legislation will level the playing field for Montana’s family farmers and ranchers and guarantee American families the choice of the highest quality beef by making sure they know where their food is coming from.”

The American Beef Labeling Act is also sponsored by Senators John Thune (R-S.D.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.). Tester has fought to reinstate MCOOL since its 2015 repeal, and in 2020 introduced a bipartisan resolution urging the U.S. to enter into necessary trade negotiations to allow the United States to re-implement it in a manner that is compliant with WTO regulations.

As the only working farmer in the U.S. Senate, Tester has long been an advocate for increased market transparency and more competitive practices for Montana producers. He recently introduced his bipartisan Meatpacking Special Investigator Act which will create a new dedicated office within the Department of Agriculture’s Packers and Stockyards Division, addressing anticompetitive practices in the meat and poultry industries. He also recently introduced his bipartisan Livestock Disaster Relief Act with Senator Hoeven (R-N.D.) to ensure that Montana’s ranchers receive necessary relief to recover from future disasters. In response to this year’s extreme weather he has also secured USDA relief for Montana producers through the authorization of haying and grazing on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres, LFP funding, and ELAP funding.