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Legislation Introduced in House to Repeal COOL

21 May 2015

US - House Agriculture Committee Chairman Conaway has introduced legislation to repeal Country of Origin Labelling.

The measure was originally introduced in the 2002 Farm Bill covering beef, pork and chicken; and implemented in 2008.

According to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, COOL has been detrimental to the US livestock industry and without benefit to US consumers.

After multiple rulings against the US by the World Trade Organization, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President, Philip Ellis said this action by Congress is long overdue.

“As a fifth-generation rancher I am proud of the products we produce and we produce the best beef in the world, but mandatory labelling has only cost producers money without benefit,” said Mr Ellis.

“Continued economic analysis has shown that consumers do not use COOL information in their purchasing decisions, and despite implementation costs in excess of $1 billion for beef alone, these same reviews have found little or no economic benefit from this rule.

“It has resulted in discounts paid to US producers like myself, and it is directly related to the closure of a number of processing plants and feedlots in the US.”

Mr Ellis added: “We support voluntary labelling efforts, efforts that give consumers the information they are looking for and reward producers all along the supply chain for meeting specifications.

“Programmes like Born and Raised in the USA, Laura’s Lean, and Nolan Ryan’s Guaranteed Tender, that are run by the industry work; they don’t violate our trade obligations and they pay premiums back to the producer.”

Despite contentions by proponents of COOL, a recent economic study mandated in the 2012 Farm Bill and commissioned by Congress, showed that after six years of implementation, the rule had little effect on price or demand for covered commodities.

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