Colorado Considers State-Specific COOL

Country of origin labeling could be coming back to Colorado. ( Wyatt Bechtel )

Colorado’s State Legislature may soon consider a bill that would create a state-specific Country-of-Origin Labeling law.

Introduced by Colorado rancher and State House Representative Kimmi Lewis, and state Senator Vicki Marble, both Republicans, the bill would amend the Colorado Food and Drug Act to require that all raw beef sold in the state must present a “conspicuous placard that is clearly visible and readily viewable by the public” in the vicinity of the beef for sale in retail establishments. The beef would be labeled as “U.S.A. Beef” or “Imported Beef.”

For beef to be labeled as from the U.S., the animals would have to be born, raised, and slaughtered in the U.S. For beef not meeting that standard, the “Imported” placard would have to list each country where the animals were born, raised, and slaughtered.

Lewis says that some independent Colorado retailers are already offering their customers beef that is verified as U.S.A. Beef, and that ranchers from her district have encouraged her to introduce the bill to the Colorado legislature. The bill could come before committee as early as January 29. Lewis believes that if the bill becomes law, it will improve prices for cattle in Colorado.

A federal country-of-origin labeling law went into effect in 2009, but was repealed by Congress in 2015.