Today, Rep. K. Michael Conaway (R-TX), Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, issued the following statement regarding legislation introduced by Senator Hoeven (R-ND) and Senator Stabenow (D-MI) that ties repeal of country of origin labeling (COOL) to both the elimination of existing market driven programs and the establishment of a so-called voluntary country of origin (COOL) labeling program for beef, pork, and chicken. This new voluntary program would operate under similar rules as the program found to violate U.S. international trade rules.
Chairman's Statement: Limited Payments to Hog Producers
House Agriculture Committee Chairman Larry Combest (R-Texas) issued the following statement regarding Friday's Clinton Administration announcement of limited payments to hog producers:
"Weather and market forces have taken a disastrous toll on livestock producers with clear, personal consequences to their futures. The Administration's plan to shift dollars around sadly amounts to only a drop in the bucket. It is hard to understand how these limited, direct payments will solve problems involving hundreds of millions of animals."
"The Administration is focusing today on a tiny portion of the comprehensive price problem and is ignoring the wide range of longstanding struggles throughout the livestock industry."
"This $50 million is too small the fix the problems that face the pork industry, but noticeably missed when transferred from funding that provides vital support to dozens of other commodities and nutrition programs, such as the school lunch program. It is hard to see how this move is the most prudent form of assistance they could have found."