GREAT FALLS- Under federal law, Montana Farmers Union says it's currently illegal for any state in the U.S. to label where their meat is coming from but today, one bill was heard by state lawmakers that could change all that.
It's called the Country of Origin Laboring Bill. If passed, consumers can go into the grocery store and know by a label where your beef and poultry is coming from. So for example, let's say you were buying a hamburger that contained a mix of beef from different places, so you'd see directly on the packaging, where all of it individually came from.
"We do not have any packing or slaughter programs in the state of Montana so all the animals that Montana raises, they have to go out of state for that processing and come back into state and they are really not sure where that meat came from,” said Chris Christiaens, Lobbyist & Project Specialist at MFU.
Opposing sides, say this is far too complicated of an issue for an entire state to solve. They also have a hard time believing the accurate label would be revealed on packages.
As for this bill's next steps once the committee takes executive action within a week after this hearing, it will go to the floor, and if passed it will go to the house where we'll wait to hear further details on its standing.