WASHINGTON — In testifying before the Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food on June 18 regarding the impact of country-of-origin labeling, A.M.I. president and chief executive officer J. Patrick Boyle provided the association’s position on the law and offered A.M.I. as a resource to Canadian companies and individuals who are subject to the law’s provisions and need compliance assistance.

Mr. Boyle testified at the invitation of the Committee, which is analyzing the economic impact of the legislation.

C.O.O.L. is likely to be a costly and burdensome statute, with first-year implementation costs estimated to be $299 million for the pork industry and $1.25 billion for the beef industry, Mr. Boyle noted. And the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates a loss in productivity after a 10-year period of adjustment in excess of $211 million.

"These numbers are particularly noteworthy when one considers that they are being incurred during a time of almost unprecedented economic challenges and hardship not only in Canada and the United States, but throughout North America and the rest of the world," Mr. Boyle stated.

A.M.I. is also aware from press reports and other anecdotal information about the economic hardships being incurred in certain sectors, particularly in the cattle and hog sectors, he added. Mr. Boyle told the committee A.M.I. is unaware, however, of any formal or structured economic work underway to analyze systematically the impact that mandatory C.O.O.L. is having on livestock producers, the meat packing and processing sector and retailers.

Regardless, Mr. Boyle said mandatory C.O.O.L. is in effect and A.M.I. continues to work with its members and other affected companies and persons to help them comply with the law and the implementing regulations. A.M.I. has hosted educational programs and provided opportunities for companies to interact with the U.S.D.A. officials in charge of administering and enforcing C.O.O.L.’s requirements.

To view Mr. Boyle’s testimony, click: www.meatami.com/ht/a/GetDocumentAction/i/50929