Call for Legislative Fix to Country of Origin Labelling

CANADA - Canadian Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz called for a legislative fix to the argument over Country of Origin Labelling is a series of meetings in Washington, DC, last week.
calendar icon 9 February 2015
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The agriculture minister reiterated Canada’s position on US Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) to influential newly elected US House and Senate members.

Minister Ritz held bilateral discussions with key representatives from the House and Senate Agriculture Committees.

In the meetings, Minister Ritz called for a legislative fix to COOL, and reinforced that mandatory COOL continues to significantly disrupt the North American supply chain, create unpredictability in the market, and impose additional costs on producers on both sides of the border.

While in Washington, DC, Minister Ritz led a delegation which included the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, the Canadian Pork Council, and the Canadian Meat Council.

They participated in roundtable meetings with the COOL Reform Coalition and the Barnyard Coalition.

During the discussions, Minister Ritz expressed support for each industry coalition’s efforts to advocate for a legislative fix to COOL discrimination.

Canada will continue to fully assert its rights to achieve a fair resolution on COOL, including seeking authorization to implement retaliatory measures on US agricultural and non-agricultural products if and as necessary.

The Canadian livestock industry estimates the damages caused by COOL to be well over $1 billion annually and Canada says that US exports to Canada would be at risk, including US beef and pork, valued at over C$2 billion annually, if Canada were to implement retaliatory measures.

“Mandatory COOL continues to hurt ranchers, businesses, and the overall red-meat industry on both sides of the border,” said Mr Ritz.

“These meetings provided the opportunity to reinforce with key American legislators that the Canadian Government will continue to stand up for our farmers and ranchers and we will utilise all options, including retaliation, to ensure this harm is put to a permanent end.”

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