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Yeah I’m still here

January 15, 2009

Been scouring the Tubes relentlessly for ag news that catches my interest.

We could try to speculate exactly what unintended consequences the USDA’s new rules for Country of Origin Labeling will be.

I’ve yet to come up with anything definite, it’s not as easy to predict as the ethanol mandate debacle.

Officials with USDA earlier this week announced details of the final regulation for the mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL) program required by the 2002 and 2008 farm bills. See the full regulation.

According to USDA, the rule covers muscle cuts and ground beef, lamb, chicken, goat and pork; wild and farm-raised fish and shellfish; perishable agricultural commodities (specifically fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables); macadamia nuts; pecans; ginseng and peanuts.

Commodities covered under COOL must be labeled at retail to indicate its country of origin. For fish and shellfish, the method of production — wild or farm-raised, — must be specified. Commodities are excluded from mandatory COOL if the commodity is an ingredient in a processed food item.



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  1. Ross permalink

    Vines, let me take a stab at the unintended consequences of centralized, mandatory labeling protocols. A similar action is occurring in the 2nd Amendment arena this week, regarding the barcoding of ammunition. It’s in supposedly freedom-guarding states such as AZ, MS, TN. The main proponents are the ammunition manufacturers. Surprised? Don’t be. This bill would effectively outlaw home reloading because the corporations would own the barcoding patents.

    Read about it here:

    Do you see any parallels to your independent business freedom?

    • Vines & Cattle permalink

      Absolutely. Whether it be Monsanto trying to dominate the seed stock market (not gubmnt’ I know) or the Fed Gov trying to bar code every steer and tomato, the industrial food system is doing everything it can to protect itself. I’ve posted a story on the proposed Cow Tax for methane. It’s my suspicion that the big “protein factories” will be behind anything that makes it harder for competing food systems to flourish, no matter how small the market share. If you’re interested in the topic, check out Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal by Joel Salatin. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Pylades permalink

    Isn’t it just going to be “United States” for pretty much everything anyway?!

    If I understand you correctly, they’re already doing this in Europe without too many fuck-ups as far as I can tell. Then again, meat is quite a bit more expensive here too…

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