Wednesday, May 20, 2015

U.S. acting fast to repeal COOL regs

The Agriculture Committee of the House of Representatives in Washington voted 38 to six to get rid of the law that requires County of Origin Labeling for beef pork and chicken.

The repeal does not apply to anything else, such as fish.

The bill amends the Agriculture Marketing Act of 1946 and now goes to the full House for a vote.

 “We must do all we can to avoid retaliation by Canada and Mexico, and this bill accomplishes that through full repeal of labeling requirements for beef, pork, and chicken,” said Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway, a Republican from Texas.

Both Democrats and Republicans on the Agriculture Committee voted in favour of scrapping COOL which is costing Canadian beef and pork producers more than $1.5 billion a year by reducing demand, and therefore prices, for Canadian cattle and hogs.

 American meat packers have to keep Canadian and Mexican meat separate so it can be accurately labeled.

“We will continue working to get this to the House floor as quickly as possible to ensure our economy and a vast range of U.S. industries and the men and women who work for them do not suffer any economic implications of retaliation, ” said Conaway.

Canada has had allies from the U.S. meat and poultry industries which been seeking repeal of the COOL since the regulations went into effect in 2009. They set up to the COOL Reform Coalition to put pressure on legislators.