USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack has received a letter from seven senators requesting him to re-open the final country-of-origin labeling rules.
Senator Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) leads the effort, and is joined by Russell Feingold (D-Wis.), Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.).
Specifically, the issue most in question is the multiple-country labeling provision of the rule. It would allow meatpackers to use the multiple-country label for muscle cuts from animals born, raised and slaughtered in the United States processed by a facility on the same day as foreign products. The senators also take issue with a provision that allows the multiple-country label on ground meat as long as the facility also processes some U.S. meat in the facility within the past 60 days.
"These loopholes essentially allow processors to label every product, including exclusively U.S. products and entirely foreign products, under the multiple-country category," the senators' letter states.