NPPC Declines Further Involvement in M-COOL Debate

by 5m Editor
8 June 2011, at 3:14am

US - The US-based National Pork Producers Council says it plans to stay out of the debate over Mandatory US Country of Origin Labelling as the issue moves through the World Trade Organization dispute settlement process, Bruce Cochrane writes.

A World Trade Organization dispute settlement panel struck in May 2010 to address complaints from Canada and Mexico over the introduction of Mandatory US Country of Origin Labelling has ruled preliminarily that the law violates the technical barriers to trade and the panel is expected to issue a final draft of that decision later this year at which point the US will have an opportunity to appeal.

The issue is expected to be discussed this week during World Pork Expo in Des Moines when members of a delegation representing Manitoba Pork Council meet with representatives of the National Pork Producers Council and various state pork organizations.

NPPC past president Sam Carney says he is not prepared to comment directly on the issue at this point because the WTO ruling has not been officially announced and it is not yet clear what position the US government will take.

Sam Carney-National Pork Producers Council

We were against this.

We campaigned, we lobbied that M-COOL should never be passed but it became the law of the land.

As pork producers across the United States we had to become legal.

It was the law of the land so we had to follow the law.

I'm not quite sure what it was supposed to accomplish because it looked to me like the cost outweighed the benefits, to me as a producer.

Mr Carney acknowledges World Trade Organization dispute settlement panel rulings are usually appealed but US pork producers are waiting to see what happens when the panel's decision is announced officially.

He says the National Pork Producers Council made its position clear on Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling before it became law and will not be making any further recommendations on the issue to the US government.