Statement: Proposed changes to “Product of USA” labeling regulations would be costly and disruptive to North American supply chains
Proposed changes to “Product of USA” labeling regulations would be costly and disruptive to North American supply chains
Tuesday, March 7 (Ottawa, ON) Yesterday, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed changes to its voluntary “Product of the USA” labeling regulations. The new regulations would limit claims so only products made from livestock born, raised, harvested, and processed in America could be labeled “Product of the USA.”
While voluntary, the proposed “Product of USA” rule would impose a similar standard as the mandatory Country of Origin Labeling statute repealed by Congress in late 2015, causing meat packers and processors who wish to make the claim, to segregate cattle, hogs and meat from other nations. Today’s proposed rule would be broader than mandatory COOL because it also includes processed products and products for foodservice, which were not subject to mandatory COOL.
“Canada and the U.S. share the largest bilateral agriculture trading relationship in the world, creating thousands of jobs and economic opportunities for both countries,” says Canadian Meat Council President & CEO, Chris White “Any changes to the voluntary “Product of USA” labelling regulations should consider the risks to North American meat and livestock sectors, as well as what it means for the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
Canada-U.S. meat and livestock supply chain integration means consumers benefit from more affordable, and high-quality meat products and producers benefit from efficient, and competitive markets. The segregation of Canadian and U.S. products through the proposed new measures is introducing unnecessary expenditures in the supply chain that would be particularly costly for small- and medium-sized enterprises on both sides of the border.
At a time when countries are combating supply chain challenges, food inflation and food scarcity, we join the Government of Canada in reviewing the proposed rule carefully and will participate in the U.S. rule-making process to ensure that new definitions and rules do not restrict trade or disrupt supply chains.
For more information:
Canadian Meat Council
613-882-8432 | firstname.lastname@example.org