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Minnesota Pork Producers Association Calls for Repeal of U.S. COOL for Beef, Pork and Poultry

By Bruce Cochrane

The Minnesota Pork Producers Association is calling for full repeal of U.S. Country of Origin Labelling requirements for beef, pork and poultry.

Last week, two proposals were introduced in the U.S. Senate to address concerns over Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling, one which would repeal labeling requirements for beef, pork and poultry, and one that would replace mandatory labeling with a voluntary program that would require labels to detail where animals were born, raised and slaughtered to be considered domestic meat.

Dave Preisler, the executive director the Minnesota Pork Producers Association, says his organization's stand is consistent with the National Pork Producers Council in that it's in favor of a complete repeal.

Dave Preisler-Minnesota Pork Producers Association:
This whole process has run its course through the World Trade Organization and the United States has lost repeatedly so our position is it's time to repeal it so we can just move on.

The U.S. pork industry has been really on the same page with pork producers in Canada and Mexico for quite some time on this issue.

We were not in favor of Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling as it's being implemented and written now really very consistently from the beginning.

We saw it was something that was not going to be very workable and, in some cases, was really pretty confusing for consumers.
And it was also pretty obvious that it was going to anger folks in Canada and Mexico and, in turn, end up bringing on this sort of action that's happened as far as retaliation.

I think the biggest thing for folks to understand in Canada and Mexico is that we're really on their side on this issue and we'd like to see this resolved as quickly as possible.

Preisler says, while the effort to reach a compromise through a voluntary labeling proposal is appreciated, that in itself, if passed, might not be an acceptable solution because it still leaves open the threat of retaliation.

He says, if it's not going to settle the issue it's not going to do much good.

Source: Farmscape


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