October 9, 2008


Canada's producers say COOL affecting business


Just one week after new US rules on mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL) went into effect, Canadian livestock producers say the new law is hurting their business.


Foreign trade committee chairman for the Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA), Travis Toews said they've already seen disruption occurring in the markets and expect more negative impact on volume prices, as some traders adopt a subtle approach to Canadian cattle markets.


In joint comments submitted to USDA by CCA and the Canadian Pork Council, the groups said they will continue to press the Canadian government to take action against the US at the WTO. During a recently-televised debate, Canadian Agriculture Minister, Gerry Ritz, announced plans to initiate a WTO Panel on COOL.


Canadian Pork Council president, Jurgem Preugschas said the potential for trade-damaging effects with COOL looms over North America's highly-integrated markets. One of the major US customers has announced they will cease purchasing pigs born outside of the US when COOL enforcement begins.


Toews said the CCA believes the food labeling rules unfairly target ground meat, hamburger and patties, while other processed foods are exempted. He said they believe that meat which undergoes further processing in a US facility, whether ground or combined with other ingredients, should no longer be called Canadian.

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