Hoeven, Bennet Introduce Bill to Stop Deceptively Labeled Water Buffalo Products

Bill Aims to Halt Water Buffalo Being Marketed to Mimic Bison

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 16, 2019) – U.S. Sens. John Hoeven (R-ND) and Michael Bennet, along with Mike Braun (R-IN) and Tina Smith (D-MN), today introduced the Truth in Buffalo Labeling Act, which will provide the U.S. Food and Drug Administration with clear authority to stop water buffalo meat and ingredients from being marketed only as “buffalo” in the U.S. marketplace.

The National Bison Association worked with Senators Hoeven and Bennet to develop the legislation after deceptively labeled water buffalo meat and pet food ingredients started entering the U.S. marketplace three years ago, creating confusion for consumers.   

If enacted, the bill will require any water buffalo meat or ingredients marketed in the United States to be labeled as “water buffalo” and not just as “buffalo.”

“We are extremely grateful to Senators Hoeven, Bennet and their colleagues who are standing up for the bison ranchers, and for the customers who are looking to buy sustainably raised North American bison products,” said Dave Carter, executive director of the National Bison Association. “We have worked hard to build a relationship of trust with our customers. This bill helps us maintain that trust.”

The legislation will be assigned to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee.

The Truth in Buffalo Labeling bill has been endorsed by the InterTribal Buffalo Council, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Farmers Union, R-CALF USA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, and several regional agricultural organizations.  

Similar legislation is being developed in the House of Representatives.

A delegation of 25 bison ranchers and marketers will be in Washington, D.C. Sept. 17-20 to urge passage of the legislation.