Pork Producers Hope for Result in Changes to M-COOL04 July 2012
CANADA - The Canadian Pork Council is hopeful a World Trade Organization ruling on US Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling will result in meaningful changes to the law, writes Bruce Cochrane.
Last week the World Trade Organization Appellate Body upheld a November 2011 Dispute Settlement panel ruling that Mandatory US Country of Origin Labelling discriminates against imported livestock and is inconsistent with US trade obligations.
The US now has 15 months to bring the labelling law into compliance with WTO rules or face the prospects of retaliatory tariffs.
Canadian Pork Council second vice-president Florian Possberg observes the way the law was set up and applied was very discriminatory.
Florian Possberg-Canadian Pork Council
At the end of the day whole Country of Origin Labelling was all about a non-tariff trade barrier and that part has to be dropped.
It's just not fair according to WTO and we agree.
We have support from the National Pork Producers Council in the US.
They did not favor the Country of Origin Labelling nor did many other meat sectors.
They thought it added a way more cost to putting meat on the shelf than was necessary and they knew that their customers really weren't asking for it in the US so we have support from our counterparts south of the border to make this Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling be adjusted so it number one actually provides the consumer with some valuable information and number two does not discriminate and does not add a whole bunch of cost to our ability to provide our consumers with meat.
Mr Possberg says the sooner the US law is rectified the sooner Canadian producers will be able to compete with their American counterparts on a fair basis.
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