Country of Origin Labelling Under Fire

by 5m Editor
14 August 2007, at 8:53am

CANADA - Country Of Origin Labelling (COOL) isn't likely to help Canada's beef, pork and lamb industries with sales south of the border if the provision, part of the U.S. Farm Bill, gets congressional approval.

"And if this is proposed it will violate NAFTA and WTO agreements already in place," said Lianne Appleby, communications manager for the Ontario Cattlemen's Association.

Currently, Canadian livestock shipped to the U.S. and slaughtered there is marked as U.S. origin. But under COOL, which could take effect September 30, 2008, only animals born, raised and slaughtered in the U.S. would be considered of U.S. origin. All others would be labelled according to their true country of origin, regardless of where they are slaughtered.

"Beef products of Canada will be labelled as such, and that presents marketing challenges for Canadian beef," Ms. Appleby said.

As currently enacted, COOL would dramatically reduce U.S. market access for Canadian pork and beef producers, stated a release from the Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA), which is actively lobbying Ottawa to take action against COOL.

"COOL proposes that cattle must be born and raised in the U.S. to be labelled U.S.," said Ms. Appleby. "That creates cost problems for U.S. retailers/packers who are currently sourcing Canadian beef, as COOL may make it more expensive for them to continue sourcing cattle from here. The U.S. government has previously acknowledged COOL's benefits are small and it has no relation to either human or animal safety."

Source: Northumberland Today

5m Editor