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AGRIBUSINESS: “NCBA Says USDA Proves There is No Regulatory Fix for COOL”

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The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association has maintained there is no regulatory fix that can be put in place to bring the current Country-of-Origin Labeling rule into compliance with our Worth Trade Organization obligation or that will satisfy Mexico and Canada. NCBA President Scott George says USDA has proven that to be true with the amended rule proposed Friday. George says the proposed amendments will further hinder relationships with trading partners, raise the cost of beef for consumers and result in retaliatory tariffs on our export products. Contrary to the administration’s claim - George says the requirement that all products sold at retail be labeled with information noting the birth, raising and slaughter will place additional record keeping burdens on processors and retailers. Combined with the elimination of the ability to comingle muscle cuts - George says this will further add to the costs of processing non-U.S. born, raised and slaughtered products. He says the end result will be hesitancy to process imported product and increased instances of less favorable treatment of foreign product - giving our trading partners a stronger case at the WTO.