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US Cool Expected to Deharmonize Canada US Meat Trade

by 5m Editor
14 November 2003, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1384. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

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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 1384

Agriculture and Agrifood Canada says new US Country of Origin Labelling will take the labelling of food products to an unnecessary level of complexity.

Currently regulations which govern the labelling of meat and meat products in Canada and the US are very similar.

With the introduction of mandatory US Country of Origin Labelling in October, the American system will become much more complex.

Senior Trade Policy Analyst Alan Schlachter says retail ready products going in either direction must identify the country of origin now but under the new provision products processed in the US will also have to track the origin of the raw ingredients.

"Currently in Canada slaughter confers origin so as long as the animal is slaughtered in Canada it becomes a product of Canada, the meat that's derived from those animals.

What's proposed in the United States is that slaughter no longer confers origin so, for instance if it were a Canadian animal going into the US, the label would have to say 'from a Canadian hog slaughtered in the US and processed in the US.'

You have to identify production points on the label.

They're implementing an entirely new level of labeling than what exists currently.

Currently we have similar systems but, when the farm bill is implemented, they will have gone far beyond that in making labelling a much more complex thing for the products that are covered by the legislation"

Schlachter says Canada feels implementation of this provision is not in the best interest of either the US or Canada because it adds extra costs and that it should be repealed.

He says the current system seems to satisfy the needs of consumers and he see no reason to change that.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor