Rejection of Two Year Moratorium on COOL Viewed as Unlikely

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1408. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.
calendar icon 18 December 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 1408

The Canadian Pork Council says a proposed two year moratorium on the implementation of mandatory US Country of Origin Labelling will allow time to address the major concerns the legislation creates.

A joint Senate-House conference committee has recommended delaying mandatory Country of Origin legislation for all products except farm raised and wild fish until 2006.

The bill, which was to come into effect at the end of September 2004, would require food products, including beef and pork, to be identified according to their country of origin.

Canadian Pork Council Executive Director Martin Rice says, while the two year moratorium did come as something of a surprise, it is very unlikely that it will be rejected at this stage.

"We have reason to believe that this two year period has been viewed as an opportunity for the very major controversy over country of origin labelling to be addressed, to find way to make country of origin labelling more acceptable to a broader cross section of the industry.

Both houses, the US House of Representatives and the US Senate have to vote for the bill as is. There is reason to be optimistic that it will pass in that it's a very large bill.

Country of origin labelling is just one a small part of it and this large bill is what will authorize funding for the US Department of Agriculture for all of its programs and several other departments for the next year.

It would be extremely disruptive to the US government to have this bill not pass".

Rice says a voluntary program would not have the trade distorting impact of a mandatory program and a voluntary program could be tailored to those who believe it can add value to the product without imposing costs for something the buyer is indifferent toward.

He is confident something will develop during the two year delay to mitigate the enormous market disruption that mandatory country of origin labelling would entail.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

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