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Date: 3/8/2013

Title: NCBA Statement on USDA's Proposed Amendment to Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) Rule

WASHINGTON — National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) President Scott George, a cattleman from Cody Wyo., issued the following statement regarding the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) proposed amendment to the mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) rule:

“NCBA has maintained that there is no regulatory fix that can be put in place to bring the current COOL rule into compliance with our World Trade Organization (WTO) obligation or that will satisfy our top two trading partners; Mexico and Canada. With the amended rule, the USDA has proven that to be true. The proposed amendments will only further hinder our trading relationships with our partners, raise the cost of beef for consumers and result in retaliatory tariffs being placed on our export products. The requirement that all products sold at retail be labeled with information noting the birth, raising and slaughter will place additional recordkeeping burdens on processors and retailers, contrary to the administration’s assertion. Moreover, this combined with the elimination of the ability to comingle muscle cuts, will only further add to the costs of processing non-U.S. born, raised and slaughtered products. The end result will be hesitancy to process imported product and increased instances of less favorable treatment of foreign product, giving our trading partners a stronger case at the WTO.”



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