Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Bureaucrat blows whistle on COOL

Barry Carpenter, who for five years worked on Country of Origin Labeling regulations for the United States Department of Agriculture, now calls it a disaster that could never be made compliant with World Trade Organization standards.

Carpenter, who now is chief lobbyist for the U.S. meat-packing industry, told Meatingplace Magazine that he hopes the U.S. will finally give up on COOL, now that the World Trade Organization has ruled against it for a fourth time.

Carpenter told Meatingplace “you really want me to tell you about COOL? It’s been a disaster from Day One.

“It’s an example of what doesn’t work when it isn’t market-driven. 

“Basically [USDA] … took a set of information no one was clamoring for and no one was willing to pay for and forced it on the industry, adding millions in cost with no value at all.”

COOL cost Canadian cattle and hog farmers more than $1 billion a year in depressed prices because U.S. packers were reluctant to buy Canadian livestock whose meat had to be segregated throughout processing for accurate labelling.

It also cost the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and the Canadian Pork Council hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal and consulting fees to join the federal government and Mexico in the World Trade actions against COOL.