Protest over Mandatory Cool Urged

by 5m Editor
1 February 2008, at 11:24am

CANADA - Manitoba Agriculture Food and Rural Initiatives is advising Manitoba pork producers to encourage their American customers to express their concerns over the pending introduction of Mandatory U.S. Country of Origin Labelling, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Mandatory U.S. Country of Origin Labelling is slated to take effect September 30.

Details have yet to be finalized but it's expected pork from animals born, raised and slaughtered in the U.S. will be labelled product of the U.S., pork from animals born in Canada but raised or slaughtered in the U.S will be labelled product of Canada and the U.S. and meat from animals born raised and slaughtered in Canada will be labelled product of Canada.

Carolynn Osborn, the acting manager of the Agrifood Policy Section of Manitoba Agriculture Food and Rural Initiatives, says some in the U.S. are starting to recognise the down side of proceeding with the legislation but it's slow.

Carolynn Osborn-Manitoba Agriculture Food and Rural Initiatives

They tend to be reluctant to take up the cause for Canada especially when it represents a smaller portion of the business.

I think processors, when they're talking about 10 percent of the purchase coming through, they don't want to alienate the other 90 percent that they're purchasing from so they tend to be a little reluctant to step forward but I think they are starting to step forward.

And I think some of the small farmers that are purchasing our weanlings need to get a little bit better organized and start voicing the concerns as well.

I think that's where Manitoba producers can help.

Talk to the people who are buying your weanling pigs and tell them to talk to their congressman cause that's the MST effective method to advocate for change.

We need our U.S. customers to express to heir congressional representatives their concern about the impact of this legislation on their industry.

By providing that kind of feedback to their congressional representatives, they can get access to the law makers and the people who make those laws and get them to make the modifications that will lessen the impact on the industry.

Osborn says the fear is, once the legislation is in place, U.S. packers will discount pigs born in Canada or refuse to accept them at all.

5m Editor