NPPC Calls for Delay of Proposed Changes to M-COOL16 April 2013
US - The US based National Pork Producers Council is calling on the US government to postpone implementation of proposed changes to US Mandatory COOL until the World Trade Organization has fully addressed the issue, writes Bruce Cochrane.
In response to a WTO order to bring Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling into compliance with it's international trading obligations by 23 May or face the prospects of retaliatory tariffs the US Department of Agriculture has proposed a rule to modify labeling provisions for muscle cut covered commodities to require the origin designation to indicate where each production step occurred and to remove the allowance for commingling.
National Pork Producers Council vice president and council for international affairs Nick Giordano suggests the proposed rule needs to move forward to meet the WTO deadline and stall the retaliation process until more substantial changes can be made.
Nick Giordano-National Pork Producers Council
What we're proposing is that, if a live hog or pork from one NAFTA country goes into a federally inspected plant in another NAFTA country and there's value added in that federally inspected plant, it then changes origin and becomes a product of the NAFTA partner country.
Unfortunately it's an argument we need to make before the congress and they're right now not inclined to deal with Country of Origin Labelling.
We don't like the proposed rule so what we've suggested is that the effective date of the rule not be until well after all WTO litigation is over because we don't know if this rule is going to pass WTO muster.
There's a good chance it may not.
Mr Giordano says no one wants changes that will be rejected by the WTO so NPPC is asking for an effective date 180 days after the WTO process is complete, which might not be until next summer.
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