Major Livestock Groups Disappointed COOL Changes Excluded from Farm Bill Conference ReportMon, 27 Jan 2014 15:44:35 CST
In a letter to the leadership of the House and Senate Agriculture committees, six major farm groups reacted to the lack of change to COOL regulations in the farm bill recommended for passage by the Conference Committee:
Dear Chairmen and Ranking Members:
The U.S. livestock and poultry industries appreciate all of your efforts to resolve the many contentious issues where compromises were found to bring this Farm Bill close to the finish line. We know that this has been a lengthy and difficult task.
However, we must express our deep disappointment with the decision to exclude language that was in the House-passed version of the bill on the Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Act (GIPSA), the Conaway-Costa amendment. If included, the Conaway-Costa amendment would have refocused the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s regulation on the five specific areas of contraction, as Congress directed in the 2008 Farm Bill. As well as restoring Congressional intent, this language was included in four appropriations bill (including 2014) and signed by the President.
We are also disappointed that a WTO-compliant resolution to mandatory Country-of-Origin Labelling (COOL) was not reached, particularly in the face of retaliatory actions by the governments of Mexico and Canada. This retaliation will be crippling to our industries and threaten the long-term relationship with two of our most important export markets. COOL is a broken program that has only added costs to our industries without any measurable benefit for America’s livestock producers. The coalition represented below offered many solutions and all were rejected.
We are struck by the fact that a sensible resolution was not achieved for the GIPSA and MCOOL issues, and therefore, we will actively oppose final passage of the Farm Bill, if these issues are not addressed.
American Meat Institute
National Catttleman’s Beef Association
National Chicken Council
National Pork Producers Council
National Turkey Federation
North American Meat Association
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