What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Consumer Protection : H.R. 2673. Fiscal 2004 Agriculture Appropriations/Vote to Allow the Agriculture Department to Institute a Country-of-Origin Labeling System for Meat Products.
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H.R. 2673. Fiscal 2004 Agriculture Appropriations/Vote to Allow the Agriculture Department to Institute a Country-of-Origin Labeling System for Meat Products.
house Roll Call 354     Jul 14, 2003
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Conservative

The most recent reauthorization of the so-called "Freedom to Farm Act" in 2002, which authorized funding for a wide range of agricultural programs, included a provision to allow the Department of Agriculture to implement a country-of-origin labeling system for meat products. The 2004 agricultural appropriations bill, however, contains language supported by the Bush Administration which would prevent the labeling of meat by country-of-origin. During consideration of the appropriations bill, Representative Rehberg (R-MT) proposed an amendment which would have restored the Agriculture Department's ability to label where meat was produced. Progressives supported Rehberg's amendment as a way to help U.S. ranchers compete against Canadian beef producers. Additionally, Progressives argued, country-of-origin meat labels would better inform U.S. consumers about the quality of the meat they are purchasing. With country-of-origin labeling, Progressives pointed out, consumers would know when to steer clear of meat that was produced in a country which experienced a recent outbreak of mad-cow disease, E Coli, or any other pathogen. Forty-seven Republicans (many of them from meat-producing states) joined Progressives in supporting the Rehberg amendment but the measure was defeated on a 193-208 vote.

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