COOL Still Hot Topic in Beef Industry

COOL Still Hot Topic in Beef Industry

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:

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Spell Check

Kearney, NE
2/14/2015 03:18 PM

  Bob McCan is a liar. As a recent study on the affects of COOL has shown, COOL hasn't hurt U.S. producers, and it hasn't hurt our trading "partners" either. With a membership representing less than 5% of U.S. beef producers, one wonders why you tools here care so much about the bull sh-t that NCBA emits. NCBA ceased representing grass root producers a long time ago. They are simply another "Uncle Tom" advocacy group-the type of which we in Ag unfortunately have too many to misrepresent us.

Litchville, ND
2/15/2015 07:33 PM

  I can't remember when consumers were more aware of and concerned for where their food is coming from than today. If that is not true, how does one explain all the interest in identity preserved cattle feeding and also the vast number of local raised, slaughtered, and sold meat producers. The number of " country of origin"labeled consumer items for sale today is at an all time high. From the clothes we wear to the machinery repair parts I purchase to most of the food items on the shelf. Watch the housewife as she shops and you will see her looking for the label.

Morton, MN
2/11/2015 08:05 PM

  Sarcasm on. Yeah, because most people DON'T want to know where their food comes from. Sarcasm off.


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