The Rural Lobbyist: CALL TO ACTION! COOL BILL WILL BE HEARD FEB. 15TH

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THIS IS A CALL TO ACTION! Senate Bill 135, a bill to create stronger Country of Origin Labeling standards in South Dakota, will be heard in Senate State Affairs on Wednesday, February 15 at 10:00 AM. We need all members and concerned citizens to show up and show their support for COOL. It is important to note that SB 135 is different from the COOL you are familiar with on the national level. If you recall, COOL was repealed after the WTO ruled that Mexico and Canada would be allowed retaliation if the United States kept its version of COOL on the books. The ruling specifically had issue with the way cattle was being segregated in order to maintain the integrity of the label. SB 135 avoids that problem by placing labeling responsibility on the retailer (the grocer). If the retailer has access to information regarding the beef's country (or countries) of origin, they must provide the consumer with that information. If they do not have access to that information they have to let us know that too by stating that the "country of origin is unknown." Studies have consistently shown over the last decade that consumers want to know where their food comes from. Consumers want to know, and farmers and ranchers are proud to tell them. If you support COOL please join Farmers Union in testifying in support on SB 135. The importance of your presence in Pierre cannot be overstated. Contact me (Matt) at 605-350-8410 if you can join me in testifying. If you cannot make it to committee, please contact your Senators and Representatives and share your support with them. Call the Captiol at 605-773-3821. The members of the Senate State Affairs Committee include: Senator Bob Ewing, Chair- Senator Jenna Netherton, Vice Chair Senator Billie Sutton Senator Troy Heinert Senator Ryan Maher Senator Blake Curd Senator Jim Bolin Senator Kris Langer Senator Al Novstrup

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