Federal Agriculture Minister Hopeful U.S. COOL will be Resolved Through U.S. Farm Bill

Farmscape for January 29, 2014

Canada's minister of agriculture remains hopeful the issue of U.S. Country of Origin Labelling will be resolved through the U.S. Farm Bill.
Last week federal agriculture minister Gerry Ritz told those on hand for the 2014 Banff Pork Seminar, working with all of our partners, Canada will keep up the pressure on the U.S. administration to address Country of Origin Labelling.
He remains hopeful the issue can be addressed through the U.S. Farm Bill which is now under discussion.

Clip-Gerry Ritz-Canada Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food:
I think Country of Origin Labelling has actually underscored the reality of the integrated nature of our North American livestock markets.
It's very significant in the hurt that our industry has felt and it's very significant in the hurt that the American side is starting to feel, from the processing sector and on.
They're running at less than peak capacity, they're demanding more product but they're scared to bring it in depending on what shoe drops on the final rules on Country of Origin Labelling.
As a government we continue to press forward on a number of different levels supporting industry in their court challenges.
At the WTO, with those hearings, oral arguments will be heard February 18 to 19 I understand, that's good and of course putting pressure on all of the legislators now as the Farm Bill starts to take shape.

Ritz says six months ago we were told resolution through the Farm Bill couldn't be done but, since that time with the publication of our retaliatory list, a number of Congressmen and Senators have realized how serious Canada is about defending our industry and over 100 of them have signed on to the appeal with their industry on the court challenge and a number of Congressmen and Senators have come forward, moving amendments and talking about the money that will be required for the farm bill and how they can control that if they don't put in a fix to Country of Origin Labelling.
He says there have been musings about a voluntary label but it will still involve segregation and discrimination against our pork and beef so we're not about to take half measures and the end game remains the same, a complete repeal of Country of Origin Labelling.
For farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

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