July 10, 2023

RMBA Statement: Truth in Buffalo Labeling Act 2023

On behalf of more than 120 members of the Rocky Mountain Bison Association (RMBA), the RMBA Board of Directors strongly supports the passage of the Truth in Buffalo Labeling Act, United States Senate Bill 258, and United States House of Representatives Bill 3866.

Americans have long associated and used the term ‘buffalo’ with the American bison. Some companies import low-quality, cheap water buffalo meat and label it as simply “buffalo” -confusing consumers. This bill ensures a truthful label that aligns with common terminology, providing value and reassurance to consumers and producers alike.

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.

We thank U.S. Senators John Hoeven (R-ND) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) as well as U.S. Representatives Carol Miller (R-WV) and Yadira Caraveo (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.

“Accurate labeling of bison products is not only good for consumers, but good for producers as well, and this legislation promotes transparency by ensuring products are properly labeled,” said Senator Hoeven. “Colorado’s bison producers work hard to grow their markets and deliver high-quality meat. Misleading labeling undermines their efforts and deceives consumers,” said Senator Bennet. “Our bill helps support American bison producers and delivers transparency for consumers by requiring accurate labels for water buffalo products.”

We thank those elected officials who have already supported these bills and encourage those who have not, to take a second look. We also urge Colorado and Wyoming residents to contact elected officials today and encourage them to support these bills.


John Graves, RMBA President

On behalf of the Rocky Mountain Bison Association Board