April 20, 2020

RMBA Statement: Truth in Buffalo Labeling Act (2020)

On behalf of the 120 members of the Rocky Mountain Bison Association (RMBA), the RMBA Board of Directors issued the included resolution concerning the Truth in Buffalo Labeling Act, United States Senate Bill 2479 and United States House of Representatives Bill 5818.

RMBA represents the bison ranchers, producers, and marketers located in Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Utah. RMBA’s mission is to promote and preserve bison through education, research, and marketing.

We thank U.S. Representatives Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) and Billy Long (R-MO), as well as U.S. Senators John Hoeven (R-ND) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) for introducing these bills. We strongly support these bills and encourage all U.S. Representatives and Senators to support these bills as well.

“Americans have long associated the term ‘buffalo’ with American bison. Some companies are now importing water buffalo meat and ingredients and labeling it only as ‘buffalo’ which can mislead consumers,” said Representative Perlmutter. “The Truth in Buffalo Labeling Act will halt that deceptive practice and protect consumers and ranchers alike.” Dave Carter, Executive Director of the Colorado-based National Bison Association, said, “American bison ranchers established a relationship with our customers that is based upon the quality of our meat, and the manner in which we raise our bison. Mislabeled water buffalo products in the marketplace threaten to undermine that relationship.”

This bill amends Section 403 of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to require any products from the genus Bubalus be labeled as “water buffalo” in the U.S. marketplace and products from the genus Bison to be labeled as “bison” or “buffalo”. By providing clarification to consumers, the legislation will reduce the number of mislabeled products on the market, meeting consumer expectations and ensuring food safety. The legislation has been endorsed by the National Bison Association, the InterTribal Buffalo Council, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Farmers Union, R-CALF USA, and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.

Contact your elected officials today and encourage them to support these bills as well.


John Graves, RMBA President

On behalf of the Rocky Mountain Bison Association Board