Farmscape for April 1, 2013
The general manager of Manitoba Pork Council warns proposed changes to U.S. Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling will bring further harm to the U.S. pork industry.
In response to a World Trade Organization order to bring Mandatory U.S. Country of Origin Labelling into compliance with its international trading obligations the United States has issued a proposed rule to modify labeling provisions for muscle cut covered commodities to require the origin designation to indicate where each production step, born, raised and slaughtered occurred and remove the allowance for commingling.
Public comments are being accepted until April 11.
Manitoba Pork Council general manager Andrew Dickson suggests the proposed change will make the rules even more onerous on U.S. pork producers and processors.
Clip-Andrew Dickson-Manitoba Pork Council:
The U.S. meat industry is going to incur significant new costs, U.S. farmers are going to suffer as a result of this legislation because they're not going to be able to buy, for example, weanling pigs from Manitoba because they won't have packers who are prepared to take the pigs when they are raised to full market weight.
The absurd thing here is Manitoba sells 12 pound pigs into Iowa and Minnesota.
These things are raised to 260 to 280 pounds.
The meat that comes from those is the result of those little baby pigs being fed corn and soy meal that are grown on American fields by American workers, processed in American plants, sold through American retailers and eaten by American consumers.
It's absurd that the system forces a label to be put on the meat package at the store that the original genetics for this meat came from Canada.
As though that's relevant to the actual cost of the meat, the quality of the meat, the type of cut that's being consumed and the pleasure it brings and the nutrition of the meat itself.
Dickson suggests simple changes in the U.S. legislation would eliminate a billion dollar problem.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork Council