Canadian Government Says New MCOOL Rule Does not cut it

The Canadian government has released a statement in response to the submission of the amended Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling rule to the World Trade Organization. Minister of International Trade Ed Fast and Minister of Agriculture Gerry Ritz said the U.S. government continues unfair trade practices that are severely damaging to Canadian industry and jobs despite consistent rulings by the WTO. They say the Canadian government is extremely disappointed that the U.S. is upholding this protectionist policy and is preparing to launch the next phase of the WTO dispute settlement process on the new U.S. MCOOL rule. They have released a list of U.S. commodities for possible retaliation - including beef, pork, chicken and a wide range of grains, fruits and dairy products. National Cattlemen's Beef Association President Scott George says cattlemen and women have long known MCOOL violates the nation's international trade obligations and provides no value to the consumer. He says it's a failed experiment in boosting beef demand and a tremendously successful experiment in creating a trade barrier.

George says the list of products released by the Canadian government brings home the real-world consequences of the USDA's adherence to MCOOL. He says NCBA's members have warned USDA and members of Congress that there would be a true cost to cattle and pork producers - as well as many other segments of the U.S. economy - should this program continue. George says this is too high a price to pay for a program that has proven it has no value.

George says NCBA isn't opposed to voluntary country of origin labeling. But he says it is a marketing tool and not a food safety program. As a marketing tool - George says it should be run by beef producers and processors.

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