A simplified "Product of Canada and the USA" labeling system should apply to beef and pork as well as livestock raised, processed, and traded between Canada and the United States, recommends a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, Canada’s leading public policy think-tank, and the Competitive Enterprise Institute of Washington, DC.
The study found that regulatory differences in North America’s integrated supply chain for red meat are costly and unnecessary. In particular, the Mandatory Country-of-Original Labeling (MCOOL) law in the United States imposes substantial costs on producers by requiring beef and pork products to be labeled according to the origin of the animal, where it was raised, and the country in which it was slaughtered and processed.
Over the past several decades, Canada and the United States (as well as Mexico) have developed an integrated supply chain for many red meat products in which calves and pigs may be born in one country, raised in another, and slaughtered on either side of the border. In 2011, Canada-U.S. trade in agriculture was worth more than $38 billion US, $4.1 billion of which came from hogs and cattle, and pork and beef products.
To boost trade between the two countries, the report recommends the creation of a single regulatory area by:
• Implementing bi-national food and animal safety standards for beef and pork;
• Installing a bi-national inspection regime on both sides of the border at various stages of the production process, including in slaughtering and processing plants;
• Blending or harmonizing meat grades designations;
• Adopting a single, bi-national country-of-origin label, specifically "Product of the USA and Canada"; and,
• Removing all border inspections.
Wednesday June 6, 2012/ Fraser Institute/ Canada.