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Not so COOL as we’ve been led to believe

February 4, 2009

Remember speculating on the unintended consequences of Country of Origin Labeling?  They’re starting to take shape…

“CattleFax estimates that, at the very least, it will cost cattle producers $50 to $60 per head if we lose the NAFTA export markets,” Daley said. “In addition to the large volume of variety meats that we export to Mexico, rounds are a very popular item in that market. Rounds also make up a large portion of our exports to eastern Canada. It would be very hard to absorb these products into the domestic market.”

She said the U.S. processing industry will have even more excess capacity if live cattle imports from Canada and Mexico continue to decline. This drags down the industry’s level of efficiency, making it more difficult for U.S. beef to compete in global markets with exports from countries such as Australia and Brazil.

Daley said the “mixed origin” label required under COOL also creates difficulties for U.S. beef exports because it is not accepted by any major trading partners.

“Mixed origin meat simply can’t be exported – not even back to Canada,” she said. “We have enough hurdles and obstacles that already interrupt trade. Why create one more?”

Easterday said COOL is causing major problems for cattle producers in the Northwest, especially the segregation requirements for cattle at the point of slaughter.

“Sometimes our feedyard might be 30 to 40 percent Canadian cattle, but sometimes it’s zero,” he said. “If packers have to set aside certain days for killing Canadian cattle, that kind of seasonality creates major problems.”

Carpenter agreed the major drawback of COOL is not with the labeling, but with the segregation of cattle. He said COOL adds significant production costs, “without any recognizable benefits

Beef Today


From → Beef, Food Policy

One Comment
  1. So the USDA proposes NAIS (The National Animal Identification System) instead of COOL and here is how it works.

    You qualify to be under NAIS if you own even one animal, no matter as a pet or food…you will
    1. register your premises (negates property rights)
    2. microchip all critters at your cost-this includes vet calls, chips, software, readers, etc about $1500 investment
    3. report all their movements, births, deaths to a database within 24 hrs or face fines
    4 . risk losing them to depopulation if disease is suspected in a 6 mile radius!

    Protection from disease is why we are told NAIS is needed, but the real reason is for the benefit of big agriculture/factory farms so they can sell meat globally. But they do not have to tag/ track individual critters. They get ONE lot number for each animal group. Any animal in that group could be sick and who would know!

    And NAIS tracking of any animals stops at slaughter, after which many food safety issues occur.

    Their costs will be small compared to the small farmer/rancher. There are currently USDA listening sessions going on across the US. See the many youtube videos of average animal owners pleading that NAIS be stopped. Also see for more info.

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