A new cost-benefit analysis of the mandatory country of origin labeling law released today by USDA fully supports the position that there is no evidence it will benefit pork producers, meat packers, retailers or consumers, says National Pork Producers Council President John Caspers.
“This much anticipated USDA analysis indicates that in the first year alone following implementation of COOL, the covered commodities could see costs of up to 4 billion,” says Caspers.
The cost-benefit analysis is a U.S. government system of calculating costs to businesses whenever new government regulations are created. The analysis is designed to measure the desirability of government programs by weighing both the long-term and short-term benefits of a program against the long-term and short-term costs of a program.
According to Caspers, USDA’s analysis validates producer concerns that consumers are not willing to pay a price premium for products bearing the U.S. origin labels and therefore higher prices will not be generated for pork products covering the cost of COOL.
In addition, Casper says COOL is a trade protectionist measure and has the potential to drastically affect international trade. “Some of the U.S. pork industry’s major trading partners have already indicated that they will file challenges under the World Trade Organization’s trade agreements and could retaliate if COOL is implemented,” says Caspers. “In today’s global marketplace, where pork producers have just come out from under 18 months of straight losses, we cannot afford to lose even a small percentage of the exports that provide significant value to the U.S. pork industry.”
To read USDA’s report go to http://www.ams.usda.gov/