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Montana Approves COOL Law

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LEGAL/REGULATORY NEWS
Montana Senate approves COOL

by Pete Hisey on 4/8/2005 for Meatingplace.com




By a 40-10 vote, the Montana Senate has tentatively endorsed a statewide requirement that all meat and other food products sold in the state contain information about where the products were produced. The country-of-origin law, which has already passed the Montana House, would take effect on Oct. 1, 2006.

Opponents said that the bill will attract a lawsuit from the federal government since it conflicts with present federal standards. Proponents argue that identical federal regulations should be in place by the active date.

The U.S. Congress passed a similar bill but has delayed its implementation until 2006.
 

Murgen

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Will this cover State origin OT, or just country of origin?
 

Hanta Yo

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Murgen,

Did a little research, I posted this Feb. 14. This is a state mandatory "COOP" P=Placarding. Because most of our cattle leave the state for feeding, there is NO WAY they can make this work. It is just a "feel good" bill that really sucks and I think will hurt us. If they can't prove the beef comes from Montana, they will label the meat "Origin Unknown". Boy, if I were a consumer and saw that plastered all over the meat counter can you imagine what I would feel???
Here's my post, and it has the writing of the Placarding bill.

Yes, I can paste a copy here. This won't work in MT as there is NO WAY anyone can prove where the meat came from. We don't have major packing plants, I am going to testify in Helena against it tomorrow.
HOUSE BILL NO. 406. I am for COOL but this is not the way to go about it. It just won't work.

INTRODUCED BY B. BERGREN

BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR



A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT ADOPTING THE COUNTRY OF ORIGIN PLACARDING ACT; REQUIRING A COUNTRY OF ORIGIN PLACARD ON SPECIFIC COMMODITIES OFFERED FOR SALE IN MONTANA; PROVIDING PENALTIES FOR OFFERING FOR SALE SPECIFIC COMMODITIES WITHOUT INDICATING THE COUNTRY OF ORIGIN AND FOR REMOVING LABELS; AND AUTHORIZING THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRY TO DEVELOP RULES TO IMPLEMENT THE COUNTRY OF ORIGIN PLACARDING ACT."



BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:



NEW SECTION. Section 1. Short title. [Sections 1 through 5] may be cited as the "Country of Origin Placarding Act".



NEW SECTION. Section 2. Definitions. As used in [sections 1 through 5], the following definitions apply:

(1) "Department" means the department of labor and industry provided for in Title 2, chapter 15, part 17.

(2) "Honey" has the meaning provided in 50-31-103.

(3) "Label" has the meaning provided in 50-31-103.

(4) "Labeling" has the meaning provided in 50-31-103.

(5) "Package" has the meaning provided in 50-31-103.

(6) "Person" means an individual, partnership, corporation, company, society, or association.

(7) "Placard" has the meaning provided in 50-31-103.



NEW SECTION. Section 3. Labeling permitted -- when placarding required -- removal of label prohibited. (1) All producers, growers, and shippers of grains, honey, beef, pork, poultry, or lamb in this state are permitted to label each individual portion, piece, or package of grains, honey, beef, pork, poultry, or lamb in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly, and permanently as the nature of the commodity will permit, in a manner that indicates to an ultimate purchaser that the product was produced in Montana.

(2) Grains, honey, beef, pork, poultry, or lamb, including any package that contains any blending of foreign and domestic product, that is produced in any country other than the United States and offered for retail sale in Montana must be labeled with a placard in a manner that indicates to an ultimate purchaser the country of origin.

(3) If one of the products enumerated in subsection (2) is unlabeled and the retail vendor is unable to determine its country of origin, the product must be labeled with a placard as "country of origin unknown".

(4) All retail vendors engaged in the business of selling products that are labeled or identified as to country of origin are prohibited from willfully or knowingly removing the labels or identifying marks.



NEW SECTION. Section 4. Penalties. (1) A person engaged in the business of retail vending of grains, honey, beef, pork, poultry, or lamb who offers those products for sale without ensuring that the products are clearly labeled as to the country of origin, as provided in [section 3(2)], is subject to the following penalties:

(a) for a first offense, a vendor shall be fined an amount not to exceed $100;

(b) for a second offense, a vendor shall be fined an amount not to exceed $250;

(c) for a third offense, a vendor shall be fined an amount not to exceed $500; and

(d) for a fourth and subsequent offense, a vendor is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be fined an amount not to exceed $1,000. This offense is an absolute liability offense as provided in 45-2-104.

(2) A person engaged in the business of retail vending of grains, honey, beef, pork, poultry, or lamb who knowingly removes any labels or identifying marks from grains, honey, beef, pork, poultry, or lamb that is labeled as to the country of origin is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be fined an amount not to exceed $500 or be imprisoned in the county jail for a term not to exceed 6 months, or both.

(3) As used in this section, "knowingly" has the meaning provided in 45-2-101.



NEW SECTION. Section 5. Department authorized to adopt rules. (1) The department may develop, adopt, and administer rules for the efficient enforcement of [sections 1 through 5]. The rules adopted by the department may include but are not limited to:

(a) statements that delineate the difference between imported and unimported raw agricultural commodities for the purpose of [sections 1 through 5];

(b) the preferred labeling or placarding method for each commodity type identified in [sections 1 through 5]; and

(c) other rules that the department considers necessary to enforce [sections 1 through 5].

(2) The rules adopted to implement [sections 1 through 5] may not unduly restrict a person from conducting business.



COORDINATION SECTION. Section 6. Coordination instruction. If __Bill No.__ [LC 433] is passed and approved and if it reestablishes the made in Montana program within the department of commerce, then [section 2(1)] must read as follows:

"(1) "Department" means the department of commerce provided for in Title 2, chapter 15, part 18."



NEW SECTION. Section 7. Codification instruction. [Sections 1 through 5] are intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 30, chapter 12, and the provisions of Title 30, chapter 12, apply to [sections 1 through 5].



NEW SECTION. Section 8. Severability. If a part of [this act] is invalid, all valid parts that are severable from the invalid part remain in effect. If a part of [this act] is invalid in one or more of its applications, the part remains in effect in all valid applications that are severable from the invalid applications.

- END -



_________________
 

Murgen

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Country Of origin Placarding, makes a lot of sense!

Do I understand this right? If grain is produced in Texas, it will be labelled as such? Adding to the cost of production of US produce?
 

Hanta Yo

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It will be labelled "Origin, Unknown" because retailers have NO CLUE where their commodities come from. This is not a good bill.
 

Murgen

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Ohh ohh, it might be mistaken as Canadian, and the animals might all starve! People will go hungry. Unless Montana is self sufficient I guess!

Trade is bad, greed is good! Cebull/r-calf says, I must do!

Thank God there are people like Hanta Yo in Montana. We might have all thought they were the last to implement the vote for women and electricity.

State lawmakers passed an open-container ban Friday that makes Montana one of the last states to outlaw drinking while driving
 

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