ShapeShapeauthorShapechevroncrossShapeShapeShapeGrouphamburgerhomeGroupmagnifyShapeShapeShaperssShape

National Meat Association Calls for Voluntary COOL as a Marketing Program

by 5m Editor
22 September 2003, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1347. 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

Play Audio

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

Farm-Scape, Episode 1347

The US based National Meat Association suggests the labelling of meat products sold in the US, according to their country of origin, should be done strictly as a voluntary marketing program.

The National Meat Association represents about 600 meat packers and meat processors across America as well as allied members in Canada, Mexico and Australia.

The US House of Representatives agriculture appropriations bill passed this summer would deny funding to implement mandatory Country of Origin Labelling for one year but the issue is expected to come to a head when the senate comes out with its appropriations bill.

Meat Association Government Relations Liaison Shawna Thomas says her members oppose mandatory Country of Origin Labelling because, after looking at the voluntary guidelines, they don't know how to make them work.

"The National Meat Association believes that Country of Origin Labelling, in its current form as it is in the 2002 farm bill, is unworkable.

We believe the USDA has tried, with its voluntary guidelines, to follow the letter of the law but because the letter of the law is so prescriptive USDA is not able to reach a consensus on what will actually work for meat packers and meat processors as well as ranchers and retailers.

We think the law should be changed to make Country of Origin Labelling voluntary, especially since we don't exactly know how to make it work without an animal identification program.

Beyond that we are willing to work with the USDA as well as Congress to institute a voluntary law that still covers the basis of Country of Origin Labelling as a marketing program but doesn't adversely affect our members".

Thomas points out the USDA has yet to come out with mandatory guidelines.

She says, with mandatory Country of Origin Labelling set to go into effect September 30, 2004, there is one year to have the law amended or stricken.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor