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No analysis of COOL pending: AMI

Canadian livestock producers hoping to see the U.S. government provide some hard data on the impacts of its country-of-origin labelling (COOL) law shouldn’t hold their breath.

J. Patrick Boyle, CEO of the American Meat Institute, told the House of Commons’ standing committee on agriculture and agri-food in Ottawa Thursday that the meat industry organization isn’t aware of “any formal or structured economic work underway to analyze systematically the impact that mandatory COOL is having on livestock producers, the meat packing and processing sector and retailers,” according to an AMI release.

That said, according to the release, he told the ag committee that COOL is “likely to be a costly and burdensome statute,” with first-year implementation costs estimated to be US$299 million for the pork industry and US$1.25 billion for the beef industry.

“Moreover,” the AMI said in its release, “the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) 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 U.S., but throughout North America and the rest of the world,” Boyle said.

Thus, the AMI said it would offer itself “as a resource to Canadian companies and individuals who are subject to the law’s provisions and need compliance assistance.”

The institute noted in its release that it’s hosted educational programs and provided opportunities for its members and other affected companies to “interact” with USDA officials in charge of administering and enforcing COOL’s requirements.

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