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COOL Still Hot Topic in Beef Industry

23:58PM Feb 11, 2015

Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) remains an item of contention in the beef industry as the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Congress have yet reach an agreement on the program.

This past year’s National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) president Bob McCan sits down with AgriTalk to discuss COOL at the Cattle Industry Convention in San Antonio.

Currently an appeals ruling is being awaited on from WTO and McCan says we can expect to hear from them in late-spring or early summer.

“When that happens we will probably have some legislation out of the House and the Senate,” McCan adds.

NCBA has been working with both sides of Congress to get some education for new members. Also the organization has been working with those leaders who have wanted to repeal COOL.

“We’re not sure what that legislation is going to look like at this point, but I think it is definitely going to happen. We can kind of see that light at the end of the tunnel on being able to repeal this law that has really been tough on trade and tough on our producers,” McCan says.

While proponents of COOL say consumers want to know where their food comes from there has been research that proves otherwise.

Data from Kansas State University showed that consumers didn’t care about labeling. Consumers were concerned about the price of beef rather than labels.

“This onerous law has become such an obstacle to trade,” McCan says.

Canada has threatened to place increased tariffs on trade with the U.S., while Mexico has been processing more cattle within the country's borders.

“I think for the most part the majority of serious cattlemen in this country have seen that this law is not helping anybody. It is not putting any more money in any producer’s pockets at all and hasn’t since it was passed,” McCan states.

To hear more of McCan’s thoughts on COOL and the current state of the beef industry listen to his interview here: