Categorized | Food and Ag, Trade

Canadians against country of origin labeling

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As the WTO moves to try to eliminate the usefulness or existence of labeling by country of origin, Canada and Mexico are using a WTO challenge in an attempt to strike down the U.S. law that meat, fish and produce be labeled as to country of origin.

This is a major sovereignty issue, a transparency issue and a consumer information issue.  Below is the latest salvo from Canada on the U.S. meat labeling they are trying to dismantle, despite the fact that 85-95% of U.S. consumer want such labeling.


Canada, U.S. should co-operate on meat products: Think-tank

QMI Agency

Toronto Sun

June 06, 2012

Excessive food labelling of pork and beef products is unnecessary and doesn’t improve food safety, a new report says.

The U.S. Mandatory Country-of-Origin Labelling (MCOOL) law puts substantial costs on American producers by requiring their products be labelled with the origin of the animal, where it was raised, and where the animal was slaughtered and processed, the Fraser Institute report says.

“Canadian cattle and hog exports to the United States have decreased by 42% and 25%, respectively, since MCOOL went into force in 2009,” Fraser Institute senior fellow and co-author Alexander Moens said in a release.

“These excessive labelling requirements do not increase food safety or improve health standard for consumers. MCOOL is simply a trade barrier, a product of the ‘Buy American’ shift.”

Instead, the think-tank’s report suggests there should be a simplified “Product of Canada and the U.S.A” labelling system.

As well, the report suggests Canada and the U.S. work together on food and animal safety standards, a bi-national inspection system, harmonizing meat grades, and removing all border inspections.

“Regulatory co-operation would create a single red meat regime in which both Canadian and American products can be priced according to their quality and in which the origin of the animals is irrelevant,” Moens said.

“This would benefit consumers through lower prices, help keep beef and pork competitive among increasing food choices, and also make North American meat more competitive in the global market.”

Fred L. Smith, president of the public policy organization the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said current labelling requirements are costly and “the real losers are consumers who must pay higher costs for what are termed ‘benefits’ but are of dubious validity.”

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3 Responses to “Canadians against country of origin labeling”

  1. China Watcher says:

    Consumers are entitled to full information about the origin(s) of the products they might buy. Lower prices can come at a high cost in terms of safety and the impact on one’s own society.

    • Tom T. says:

      Not to mention all of the inefficiencies created by our current marketing system of cheap goods.

      Cheap metal or cheap plastic parts cause consumer items to break easily and there is no way to fix them. Last month it was my daughter’s digital camera. For me it is usually a piece of hardware that breaks because of cheap metal (I have mentioned screws before).

      All of these force consumers to re-spend on the same item and lose tons of time wasted in either doing jobs (for me) or replacing the broken item. The merchants just cha ching make another sale to get another small cut, pay off China for making the cheap imports, and often hide these in some brand name one of the oligarch megacorps use to profit off of a once reputable brand.

      The lowest cost item often has the real highest cost and there just isn’t a good mechanism to require standards as the merchants are profiting from cheap items while every one else pays for it.

      Tom T.

  2. Celeste Drake says:

    Tom is right. “Cheap” products are not necessarily money-saving products — and too many, all along the quality scale, are not made to be repaired. So something that someone with basic skills could fix has to be thrown away becasue it is bolted shut – not something you can get inside of with a screw driver. Same with children’s toys. Anyone remember when TV and Lawn Mower repair shops, and even “Doll Hospitals” were common local businesses? No longer. Now on trash day you see old TVs and busted toys waiting for curbside pick-up.


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