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Test EVERY Cow in the Food Chain

Test EVERY Cow in the Food Chain
Like Other Countries Do

Friday, February 6, 2009

Canada claims victory in U.S. livestock labelling dispute

Jan 13, 2009

OTTAWA — Ottawa is putting on hold a World Trade Organization complaint on livestock exports after the United States revised labelling regulations that threatened Canadian beef and pork exports.

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said Tuesday the U.S.'s final rule on country-of-origin labelling, called COOL, has given Canadian cattle and pork exporters what they had asked for.

Trade on fresh beef and pork was disrupted last October after Washington put in place rules requiring Canadian livestock to be segregated on U.S. feedlots and clearly tagged that they are free from mad cow disease.

The final regulations still require U.S. livestock to be so labelled, but also allow the option of identifying product as deriving from a combination of U.S. and Canadian livestock.

Ritz said in a conference call from India that the new labelling requirements recognize the industry is integrated and should end discrimination against Canadian imports.

He said the $4-billion Canadian industry had taken a hit during the period, but said export levels and prices should soon return to normal. He did not say how much the industry had lost in the interim.

Ritz said Canada will continue to monitor trade in the sector and ensure no unfair practices continue. In the meantime, Canada will shelve its complaint at the WTO, but not completely withdraw it.

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