Farmscape for March 12, 2013
A Mayerthorpe, Alberta pork producer says changes being proposed to U.S. Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling legislation will increase the level of discrimination against live cattle and hogs imported from Canada and Mexico.
In June the World Trade Organization Appellate Body upheld a November 2011 Dispute Settlement panel ruling that Mandatory U.S. Country of Origin Labelling discriminates against imported livestock and in December the U.S. was been given until May 23 to bring the law into compliance or face the prospects of retaliatory tariffs.
On Friday the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a proposed rule to modify the labeling provisions for muscle cut covered commodities to require the origin designations to include information about where each of the production steps, born, raised and slaughtered occurred and remove the allowance for commingling of muscle cuts.
Mayerthorpe, Alberta pork producer Jurgen Preugschas says the change will make COOL even more onerous.
Clip- Jurgen Preugschas-Mayerthorpe, Alberta Pork Producer:
Unfortunately the changes that are being proposed are regulatory changes.
We have always argued, as have many of our allies in the United States, that a regulatory change will not work.
They actually need to make a legislative change to come into compliance.
What they have actually done is made it even more onerous and it's going to increase the level of discrimination against Canadian and Mexican hogs and beef.
Unfortunately the groups that are antitrade and protectionist have won out with the administration and the administration is making this an even worse rule than it was in the past.
Preugschas says the hope is still that the American administration will come to its sense and realize that what it's doing is increasing the costs to its own citizens and its own producers, packers and processors, pull back on the regulation and move ahead with a legislated change that brings the law into compliance.
For Farmscape.Ca,. I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork Council