Resolution Calls for Legislated Solution to M-COOL Issue05 July 2013
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US - The vice chair of the Livestock and Agriculture Committee in the Texas House of Representatives warns amended US Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling legislation will have a devastating economic impact on US livestock producers, processors and retailers, Bruce Cochrane writes.
In May, in response to a World Trade Organization order to bring Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling into compliance with its international trading obligations, the United States amended labelling provisions for muscle cut covered commodities.
Last month members of the State Agriculture and Rural Leaders attending the 12 Legislated Agricultural Chairs Summit in Vancouver unanimously passed a resolution encouraging the US Congress to implement a legislated resolution that will build markets for US products rather than impose additional requirements on meat producers and processors.
Texas House Representative Doc Anderson, who introduced the resolution, suggests the focus should be on strengthening North American competitiveness.
Doc Anderson-Texas House of Representatives
We had some projected numbers.
The USDA actually estimates what the cost would be to implement the COOL as written.
As far as packers it would be about seven dollars and 20 cents a head for cattle and a dollar 80 per head on hogs.
That's a tremendous economic hit there.
The National Grocers Association suggests it will cost them about 100 million a year to implement this labelling process and of course the producer, which are oft times left out of the process, the actual farmers and ranchers, having to bring these animals up, having to ear tag these animals, having to track these animals through the process would be anywhere from a dollar to two dollars per head cost for them at that point.
Mr Anderson notes the National Meat Alliance anticipates the amended legislation could jeopardize seven processing plants within the United States and we know it will severely impact the Canadian and Mexican beef and pork industries and, as a result, Canada and Mexico have threatened to apply retaliatory tariffs on imported US products.
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