NPPC Concerned Over Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling

by 5m Editor
2 April 2007, at 8:40am

CANADA - The U.S. based National Pork Producers Council is expressing concern over renewed prospects for implementation of mandatory Country of Origin Labeling, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Although the introduction of mandatory Country of Origin Labeling, a provision of the 2002 U.S. Farm bill, has been delayed twice by Congress observers believe there will be no further delays beyond the legislation's current September 2008 implementation.

The National Pork Producers Council has estimated current provisions under the legislation, which include requirements to identify where an animal is born, raised and slaughtered, will cost the pork industry an additional 10 dollars per head.

NPPC Past President Joy Philippi says the desire of congress now appears to be to tie Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling to animal Identification.

Joy Philippi-Past President

There's some belief there that ID could serve as a foundation for COOL.

We're willing to work with them on that and the pork industry has taken time to visit with the House Ag Committee folks and let them know that we think that could be one way we could get an ID program running but it would have to be done right so it wasn't costly back to producers.

We believe that there'd have to be quite a bit of change in the rule itself.

It would probably have to be totally rewritten.

If the ID program is worked in it would absolutely have to be rewritten as well.

We question the necessity of having a born provision in there.

That adds a lot of cost to the record keeping and segregation of everything in the plants and that would in turn be passed back to us and we just can't see that there's any benefit in having to keep track of where a pig is born, where it's more important where it's raised and slaughtered.

Philippi stresses right now is just a very bad time for producers to add anything to their cost of production.

5m Editor