US Farm Bill Offers Opportunity to Correct US M-COOL07 November 2013
US & CANADA - The Saskatchewan Pork Development Board says discussions aimed at finalizing a new US farm bill offer an opportunity to correct US Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling, writes Bruce Cochrane.
In May, in response to a World Trade Organization order to bring Country of Origin Labelling into compliance with its international trade obligations the US added additional labelling requirements and prohibited the mixing of product from animals originating in different countries.
Sask Pork chair Florian Possberg says, since its introduction, M-COOL has dramatically reduced the movement of Canadian cattle and hogs south and the latest changes have made the situation worse.
Florian Possberg-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board
Our federal minister, Minister Ritz, our provincial ministers are certainly doing everything they can to lobby the state and federal legislators in the US to have this resolved.
I know there's a conference early in 2014 where the ag ministers from across western Canada will be attending an event in the US where this will be a hot topic.
We're finding that, quite frankly, there's a lot of American legislators that agree with us.
The National Pork Producers Council in the US and the American Meat Association are strongly opposed to the way the Americans have written their own rules for their processors.
We have a lot of allies in the US.
Because they're in negotiations over the next five year farm bill, dealing with this Country of Origin Labelling would be a very opportune time to right what we think is wrong with the way they've written their legislation.
Mr Possberg says there's good business that can be accomplished if the two countries cooperate and he's confident common sense will prevail and that will happen.
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