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Beef: Made in the U.S.A.?

9/14/2000-Cattle producers have reached agreement with meatpackers and the supermarket industry on a voluntary system for labeling U.S.-produced beef. Labeling must be approved by the Agriculture Department, which would have to certify beef as U.S.-produced. Groups representing cattle producers, packers, and supermarket industry filed a petition with the department last Friday seeking its OK for the system. Cattle producers, who want to curb cattle imports from Canada, have been pushing legislation in Congress for several years to require beef to be labeled with the country of origin, but have been unable to overcome opposition from grocers and packers. Cattle would qualify as U.S-made so as long as they were imported at least 100 days prior to slaughter. About 1 million of the 36 million cattle slaughtered in the U.S. annually were born in Mexico. USDA officials said they had not yet reviewed the petition and declined comment Wednesday.





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