USDA suggests tighter rules for ‘Product of USA’ label on meat

Closing a loophole, the Agriculture Department proposed on Monday to allow packages to carry the "Made in the USA" or "Product of USA" label only if the meat, poultry and eggs in them were born, raised, slaughtered and processed in the United States. Consumer and activist farm groups applauded the proposal while the meat industry said it may violate trade rules.

Voluntary, not mandatory, meat-origin labels, says Perdue

Despite interest among cattle activists, a return to mandatory country-of-origin labels on beef "is not going to happen unless we want to do a billion-dollar litigation damage with Mexico and Canada," said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Wednesday.

U.S. farm group would support supply management in NAFTA

Agriculture amounts to a small part of NAFTA trade volume but it is a major sticking point for U.S. and Canadian negotiators who are scheduled to resume negotiations on the new NAFTA on Wednesday. The second-largest U.S. farm group said the White House ought to adopt the dairy supply management system that it reportedly is trying to eliminate in Canada and reinstate country-of-origin labeling on beef.

In absence of federal law, states take up country of origin labeling

Several states are considering country of origin labeling (COOL) proposals, which would require that beef products be labeled as imported or domestic products. The state proposals follow several years of attempts by rancher groups to revive federal law that would require country of origin labeling for beef.

USDA proposes to add venison to country-of-origin labeling program

A year after Congress repealed country-of-origin labeling for beef and pork, the USDA is beginning the process of adding venison to the list of commodities where labeling is mandatory. The 2014 farm law included a provision to include muscle cuts and ground venison to the labeling system.

Farm groups look at Trump and see a potential ally

President-elect Donald Trump is getting a welcoming handshake from farm groups often identified with Democrats or populists, not just those touting free enterprise and low taxes. The National Farmers Union said in a letter to Trump that the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, backed by many farm groups, is a threat to the rural economy, so "we hope to work with your administration on fair trade deals."

Obama cites COOL repeal in meeting Trudeau

In the first official visit by a Canadian prime minister in 19 years, President Obama said repeal of country-of-origin labeling (COOL) for pork and beef "bring the United States into compliance with its international trade obligations."

USDA removes beef and pork from COOL requirements

Meat packers and retailers are free of the requirement to identify the origin of beef and pork sold in supermarkets, according to a notice scheduled to appear today in the Federal Register.

More Canadian hogs to come to U.S. packers

With U.S. repeal of country-of-origin labels (COOL) for beef and pork, a notable increase in shipments of Canadian hogs is forecast by USDA economists.

Canada ag minister thanks U.S. allies for COOL repeal

In his first visit to the United States since appointment as Canadian Agriculture Minister, Lawrence MacAuley thanked U.S. allies for their help in winning repeal of a law that required packages of beef and pork to say where the animals were born, raised, and slaughtered. Congress repealed the country-of-origin labeling (COOL) law a month ago, averting up to $1 billion in retaliatory tariffs by Canada and Mexico.

Congress could send COOL repeal to Obama today

By the end of the day, the Senate could give final congressional approval to a $1.1 trillion government funding bill that includes repeal of a meat-labeling law that has driven a wedge between the United States and its two biggest trading partners, Canada and Mexico. Repeal of mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL), also a goal of U.S. meatpackers and foodmakers, would defuse the threat of up to $1.01 billion in retaliatory tariffs against U.S. manufactured and agricultural products.

Biggest food and farming stories of 2015 will roll into next year

Looking back on 2015, editors at FERN listed more a dozen newsworthy stories from the year that could have lasting effects. Here's a look at them, starting with half a dozen top-tier developments, including the FDA's approval of the first genetically engineered animal.

Canada to U.S. – ‘Get the job done – repeal COOL’

Mexico and Canada objected to U.S. meat-origin labels since they became mandatory under the 2008 farm law, eventually winning a final WTO decision over the United States on May 18. The omnibus funding bill awaiting a vote in Congress would end the labeling system for beef, pork, ground beef and ground pork in order to avoid up to $1.01 billion in retaliatory tariffs.

GMO pre-emption out, COOL repeal in omnibus bill

The long fight over labeling GMO food will continue into the new year despite a last-ditch push by the food industry for Congress to pre-empt state label laws.

Following the follow-through on COOL repeal

Canada says it will keep an eye on cattle and hog shipments to the United States to make sure that discriminatory U.S. practices are removed with the repeal of the mandatory county-of-origin labeling (COOL) law.

Congress has a barn-burner of a week ahead

Congress will try to wrap up every possible major issue this week in a sprint to adjournment for the year, scheduled for Friday. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told representatives "to keep their schedules flexible as we approach the end of the year." The heavy lifting would come in two bills - the catch-all appropriations bill to fund the government for the rest of fiscal 2016 and a tax "extenders" bill.

Canada and Mexico call for U.S. to repeal COOL

In a joint statement, Canada and Mexico said the United States must repeal its country-of-origin label (COOL) scheme or face $1.01 billion in retaliatory tariffs. “Canada and Mexico recognize that the U.S. House of Representatives repealed COOL for beef and pork last June, and we renew our call on the U.S. Senate to quickly do the same in order to avoid retaliation against U.S. exports," said the statement,

COOL repeal, GMO pre-emption in the year-end mix

The catch-all government spending bill that will be among the final pieces of legislation to pass Congress this year might be a vehicle for repeal of the country-of-origin label and the federal pre-emption of state GMO labeling laws, said Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley.

Roberts lacks support for repeal of meat-origin labels

Senate Agriculture chairman Pat Roberts told Feedstuffs he is "working overtime to reach a compromise" to repeal mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL) on cuts of beef and pork. But Roberts said he lacks a majority on the committee needed for an outright repeal of the labeling law.

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