Blaine Calkins, MP for Wetaskiwin was pleased that beef and livestock producers finally got a break when the United States Department of Agriculture released the “Final Rule” on the Contentious Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) regulations.
“BSE, low prices and shrinking markets have been major obstacles for local producers,” said Calkins. “But the proposed Country of Origin Labeling regulations came as a crushing blow to local exporters.”
A number of Canada’s concerns appear to have been addressed by the United States in the final set of regulations governing country-of-origin labeling.
“Hopefully, the additional flexibility on the labeling of meat will reduce the additional costs associated with the need to segregate animals during all stages of production,” said Calkins.
From the outset, Canada repeatedly raised concerns about the negative impact of the COOL measures on Canadian livestock and meat producers. “While the provisions in the final rule will help level the playing field for Canadian producers, our Government will continue to assess its impact on our bilateral trade,” said Calkins. “Canada will hold a second round of WTO consultations with the United States to raise any concerns resulting from that assessment.”