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US Support for Canadian Opposition to M-COOL Strong

10 June 2013
Manitoba Pork Council


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US & CANADA - The general manager of Manitoba Pork Council says there's strong support within the US for the Canadian position on US Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling, Bruce Cochrane writes.

A delegation representing Manitoba Pork Council is on hand at World Pork Expo in Des Moines this week to discuss a range of issues, including Mandatory US Country of Origin Labelling, with their American counterparts.

Andrew Dickson, the general manager of Manitoba Pork Council, says since it's introduction in 2008 M-COOL has impacted both Canadian cattle and hog producers to the tune of about one billion dollars per year.

Andrew Dickson-Manitoba Pork Council

The key message is that both the Canadian and Mexican governments don't believe that the measures that USDA has initiated on 23 May will bring the United States into compliance with its treaty obligations.

There will continue to be segregation in the market place.

That's been confirmed with our discussions with producers today, both in terms of contracts or the ability to get contracts, the impact it has on the spot market price on pigs and the ability of weanling producers to sell on an open market here in the United States.

It's very clear to us that the major farm organizations, the overwhelming number of processing companies and their member organizations and a significant number of other industries, for example the retail association and so on, are not supportive of the current regulations that are in place.

There's obviously a small group that has some political connections and it's unfortunate that their views are being catered to.

Mr Dickson says Canadian pork producers would like to see the US government bring in labelling laws that would conform with their treaty obligations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and the World Trade Organization.

He says these are critical obligations, we follow them in Canada and we would expect our trading partners to do the same.

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