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Agricultural News

From the National Farmers Union Convention- Roger Johnson on COOL

Mon, 10 Mar 2014 06:42:55 CDT

From the National Farmers Union Convention- Roger Johnson on COOL Farm Director Ron Hays talked over the weekend with the President of the National Farmers Union, Roger Johnson, between sessions at the 2014 NFU Convention in Santa Fe. Hays hit the "hot" button of the NFU President when he brought up the topic of Country of Origin Labeling. At his state of the organization speech on Saturday night, Johnson called COOL a signature issue for the organization and strongly defended the revised Rule that USDA put into place last May, which has been called by many in the livestock and meat industry as much worse than the original rule that WTO has called discriminatory against both Canada and Mexico. The two countries, who are a couple of our largest trading partners in red meat, have since appealed the legality under WTO of the revised rule- and all parties concerned are now awaiting a WTO ruling on the May 2013 Rule.

Click here for the MP3 audio of the portion of his speech on COOL from Saturday evening.

In the conversation between Hays and Johnson on COOL- Johnson was adamant on several points:

Consumers want to know and deserve to know where their meat products come from.

WTO said the 2008 Farm Law as it pertained to COOL was legal under WTO Rules.

WTO did say the rule put in place in 2009 by USDA was lacking- and that USDA fixed it with the May Revised Rule.

The May Revised Rule Fixes the problem and he says there is little doubt that WTO will side with the official US Government position that the Revised Rule is legal.

He believes that Canada and Mexico need to be prepared to live with the outcome of a WTO that will go against them.

Johnson can not believe the meatpackers and their arguments in litigation against USDA over the Revised COOL Rule.

Johnson went into depth on several of these points in his conversation with Hays- click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear his contentions in depth.


Ron Hays talks with NFU President Roger Johnson at the 2014 NFU Convention in Santa Fe
right-click to download mp3


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