Food Labeling

House votes to postpone meat labels in grocery stores

Knowing where the meat you buy at the grocery store comes from just became more difficult. Siding with meatpackers and supermarkets, the House has voted to delay a requirement for meat labels to specify what country the meat came from. The proposal had been scheduled to take effect in September 2006. The head of the Agriculture Committee is backing legislation to kill it outright. Retailers and the meatpacking industry say it would cost them as much as four billion dollars in just the first year. But western ranchers have been counting on the labels to help sell their beef. Montana Congressman Denny Rehberg says consumers have a right to know where the meat comes from. As he puts it, "Born, raised and processed in America means something."