Label laws could change what you know about your meat - WNEM TV 5

Label laws could change what you know about your meat

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"I want to know where everything is coming from," said Lorraine Ferguson, a local beef consumer.

Well soon you might not know for sure whether your packaged beef and pork is made in the U.S.  The new bill introduced by state Sen. Debbie Stabenow has many consumers concerned, yet others don't think it should matter.

Larry Norris owns Larry’s Meat Market for more than 30 years and believes current inspection rules go far enough.

"Personally I think it's unnecessary because all the meat that's in the processing plants as well as here has already gone through USDA inspections," Norris said.

He says any beef or pork distributed in the U.S. already has to meet strict guidelines. 

"Is there a need for public safety in that? I don't know," Norris said. "My supplier does sell meat from Mexico but I don't buy it."

These new meat labels might not mean much to the local butcher but they could mean a lot to big box retailers.

Some consumers say they would go to more specialty markets as opposed to retailers.

That means local butchers like Norris might not have to worry about losing customers, but big chains that import beef from Canada and Mexico could see meat sales slump if consumers don't know where it's coming from.

"If it isn't labeled I don't buy it," Ferguson said.

Stabenow’s bill would call for the labeling to be voluntary and is in response to the recent World Trade Organization ruling meant to open up trade between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. 

The senator says the labeling is unfair to our north and south neighbors and could stifle trade progress.

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