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COOL Opponents Urged to Speak to USDA Listening Sessions

by 5m Editor
29 April 2003, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1230. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

Manitoba Pork Council


Farm-Scape is sponsored by
Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork

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Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council
and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1230

The Canadian Pork Council's 'Country of Origin Labelling Steering Committee' is encouraging anyone with concerns to speak out at one of USDA's scheduled listening sessions. The USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service is hosting 12 sessions across the US to hear concerns related to mandatory country of Origin labelling.

The series begins today in Raleigh, North Carolina and wraps up June 26.

Country of Origin Labelling Steering Committee Chair Larry Friesen says it's a huge complex program that wasn't well thought out and no one knows its implications.

"The national Pork Producers Council is opposed to it.

The American Meat Institute is opposed to it.

We're not sure who likes it or who's in favor of it.

It's a concept born somewhere in South Dakota or Montana.

They blame the cattle industry and then, when a cattle person comes down to Washington, they blame the influx of Canadian weanlings.

It's a huge complex issue that there's no simple solution for.

They don't even know where it really came from or why.

The cost of implementing the program is running from ten dollars to 15 dollars to 20 dollars per pig down there.

In an industry that's already receiving substantially less than their cost of production, nobody wants more record keeping, more audits that really could create a lot lower hog price than we already have. "

Friesen says COOL will affect everyone from the consumer who will face higher food costs to laborers who will be affected as packing plants are forced to close and he encourages all concerned to speak at one of the sessions.

Details on the listening sessions are available on the web at usda.gov.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor