Tactics to Delay US COOL Draw Attention to Concerns

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1379. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.
calendar icon 6 November 2003
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Manitoba Pork Council

Farm-Scape is sponsored by
Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork

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Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council
and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1379

The Canadian Pork Council says delay tactics are drawing attention to flaws but they don't address whether Mandatory US Country of Origin rules should actually proceed.

US Country of Origin Labelling was introduced in the 2002 US Farm Bill and is due to become mandatory in September 2004.

The provision will require red meats, fish, peanuts and fruits and vegetables to be labelled according to where they come from.

Although the US Department of Agriculture has released its proposed final country of origin labelling regulation, money has still not been approved for the agency to enforce the regulation.

CPC Executive Director Martin Rice says, while Congress has recognized the provision's potential harm and is denying funding, the Senate is still discussing the matter.

"The House of Representatives has definitely made its view known that it doesn't want it to be funded for that first year where as the Senate is still positioning itself as to how it will deal with that issue.

The House of Representatives would be looking for the delay as a clear signal that this law is not well regarded and that they be looking at the need to have a reexamination to look at the very serious complaints that have come forward.

These complaints have come from the US industry itself, from beef producers, pork producers, retailers, frozen food manufacturers and the food processors including the meat processors.

However the funding issue really doesn't address the existence of the law so there still is a great deal of debate amongst stakeholders as to whether or not the law, as is, should go into effect or not".

Rice expects to see more clarification of the Senate's position on the matter of funding for Country of Origin Labelling in the coming weeks.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

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