NFU Urges USDA to Stand Strong on COOL03 May 2013
US - The 23 May deadline is looming for the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to issue a final rule on COOL, in order to comply with a WTO ruling.
NFU President Roger Johnson issued the following statement regarding the matter: "Opponents to COOL, principally packer-producer organizations, are suggesting that Canada will pursue retaliatory responses to the strengthened COOL language. It is important to understand that these organizations have never supported COOL because they can make more money by blending foreign products into American meat and pass it off as US-produced.
"National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Scott George said in the organization’s COOL comments, ‘The Canadian government has already confirmed that they will consider all options including extensive retaliatory measures.’ According to Article XXII of the WTO’s dispute settlement rules, the Canadians can consider all they want, but they can’t act unless WTO allows it.
"A letter of support for the COOL rule was signed by a broad range of 229 farmer, rancher, rural, and consumer organization organizations. A 2008 Consumer Reports poll found that 95 per cent of consumers believe that processed or packaged food should be labeled by its country of origin and that this information should always be available at point of purchase. It is clear that the public supports COOL.
"We look forward to USDA’s final ruling and urge them to stand strong and keep COOL. Furthermore, we impress upon Congress to leave COOL out of the impending farm bill discussions."
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