August 2, 2008


Canada may keep options open with US labelling law


Canada has reservations about the US implementation of the mandatory country-of-origin labelling (COOL) and may consider its exporting options as a result, according to Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz.


Ritz said the Canadian government is concerned that the US COOL legislation may discriminate against Canadian products.


"We will analyse the recently-released rule to determine the economic impacts on integrated North American markets," said Ritz.


The 2008 US Farm Bill requires the mandatory COOL rule for beef, lamb, pork, chicken and goat meat to be implemented by September 30, 2008. Ritz said trade between the US and Canada, which has tripled since the signing of free trade agreements, could hinder future trade of some commodities.


Ritz said the Canadian government will continue to work with industry and its provinces and territories to minimise any impact on domestic farmers and ranchers.


"Should the implementation of the rule result in undue restrictions on the exportation of any products or animal from Canada, the government will have to consider its options," Ritz said.

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