CALGARY, AB — Many spokes of the international meat wheel have weighed in on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s issuance of the final rule for mandatory Country-of-Origin labeling on Jan. 12. Among them is the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, which stated it is hopeful that changes allowing greater flexibility in the COOL final rule reduce some market uncertainty. Nevertheless, the CCA is still against the mandatory initiative, calling it "a barrier to trade".

"At first glance of the 260-page rule, we are pleased to see that it provides the same flexibility for use of a mixed origin label on beef [or pork] derived from animals imported direct-for-slaughter, as now exists for use with a mixed-origin label on products derived from United States origin animals," said Brad Wildeman, CCA president. "This should provide U.S. buyers of Canadian cattle [and pigs] greater flexibility in managing their inventories."

Mr. Wildeman said he hopes this approach enables U.S. facilities to resume accepting Canadian cattle for immediate slaughter along with Canadian-born cattle fed in the U.S. "We also hope that this flexibility eliminates, or at least reduces, price discounts by U.S. packers for Canadian cattle," he added.

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