The House passed a bill repealing country-of-origin labeling (or COOL) laws for beef, chicken, and pork earlier this month, and now that bill (H.R. 2393, the innocuous-sounding Country of Origin Labeling Amendments Act) goes to the Senate for consideration. For a body of legislators that can't get anything done, the House sure did act right quick to get rid of the COOL laws we've been agitating to get for years, so that we can know how far their meat had to go to get to our dinner table. And I expect the Senate will do the same, since their big donors told them to. Why now, though? Because the World Trade Organization recently ruled that our COOL laws put other nations' meat producers at an economic disadvantage in violation of the TBT and GATT. This is exactly the sort of thing we've been warning about for, like, ever when discussing the harm "free" trade deals do -- they circumscribe our freedoms, including the freedom to give consumers the choice of buying local food or food from far away. Food and Water Watch helps you tell your Senators to reject H.R. 2393 and any other attempt to undermine our country-of-origin labeling laws.
Meanwhile, cumulative student debt now tops $1 trillion, as you know, and the corporations handling debt processing aren't doing the job as well as they should -- so Public Citizen helps you tell the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (or CFPB) to protect students and hold bad corporate actors accountable for how they mishandle student loans. The student loan servicing sector remains pretty much unregulated, since, for right-wingers, regulation apparently equals fascism and they get all the say around here as long as they whine and stamp their feet, but the lack of oversight by our government, working on our behalf, causes real harm to students trying to better themselves. And when loan servicers reject payments improperly, hike interest rates incorrectly, or fail to apply payments appropriately, they actually hurt all of us, since the student loan industry is fairly heavily-subsidized by guess who? You, the taxpayer. At the risk of piling on, but student loan contracts tend to include forced arbitration agreements that prevent students from redressing their grievances in court, as is their right. So let's make everyone do their job, as civilized people do.
Meanwhile, if you've missed previous opportunities to tell your Congressfolk to support H.R. 1552/S. 621 and thus prevent antibiotic abuse on factory farms, then Food and Water Watch still helps you do that. You know the drill -- four out of every five antibiotics in America go, no, not to sick people in hospitals or sick animals in vet's offices, but to nominally healthy feed animals, partly to help them endure the squalid conditions of factory farms, and partly to make them meatier. But abusing antibiotics virtually ensures that bacteria will grow stronger, until antibiotics can't kill them, which means the next cut you get could kill you instead. Most folks agree with everything I've just said, and probably would even agree with it after Big Ag corporations spend hundreds of millions of dollars carpet-bombing the airwaves with crap about "frivolous lawsuits" and "higher food prices." Neither one of these things will happen. No, not even the second one -- the only thing factory farms do at a lower cost is deliver more money to their CEOs. And your local farmer can better provide good food at low prices without the boot of Big Ag on their throats.