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This was sent to KBC from Congressman Walden's office explaining COOL and NAIS in Farm Bill:
Below is a summary of the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) compromise that will be in the Farm Bill and on the Floor this week. Also, as we have been getting a lot of calls…there is absolutely no language in the farm bill that would implement any type of national animal identification system (NAIS); there is also no language that ties COOL to NAIS (there was some previously that was removed before Full Committee markup). Anyhow, long story short the Committee maintained current law which states that “The Secretary shall not use a mandatory identification system to verify the country of origin of a covered commodity” which explicitly prohibits tying the two items together.
Scott Graves, Congressman Conaway’s agriculture assistant
Rep. K. Michael Conaway (TX-11) (Mr. Conaway is on the House Ag Committee)
Check out KMC's Blog
MANDATORY COOL LANGUAGE PROVISIONS IN HOUSE FARM BILL (CHANGED LATE FRIDAY)
Last week's House farm bill included a compromise between the meat industry and country-of-origin labeling (COOL) proponents regarding meat and meat products – including a late-Friday change in language adding another origin category: the added category is for live animals brought in for direct slaughter. This will differentiate from imported meat and the other category which handles blended--i.e., feeder pigs from Canada and feeder cattle from Mexico and Canada and the meat derived from these animals.
The following is the COOL agreement:
Item 1. Country of Origin Label: Defines MEAT products into the following categories:
Label 1: No change to current law
US Country of Origin applies to only meat products derived from animals born, raised, and slaughtered in the US
Label 2: New provision:
Mixed Origin Meat Label would include products that are derived from animals that are not exclusively born, raised, and slaughtered in the US Product may be labeled as "Products of the US and Country X or Y or Z".
Label 3: Revision of existing law:
Imported Meat Label includes all covered meat commodities from foreign countries. Label may include the phrase "Product of X."
Label 4: Live animals brought in for direct slaughter.
This category will differentiate from imported meat and the other category which handles blended--i.e., feeder pigs from Canada and feeder cattle from Mexico and Canada and the meat derived from these animals.
Item 2. Labeling for ground product:
Ground Product may be labeled with a narrative list of countries from which the product was derived. Label may include the phrase "May contain" followed by a list of applicable countries. (Note: According to the language adopted, the ground beef labels will not require percentage breakdowns of how much meat came from which country.)
Item 3. Record keeping to verification/certification of origin:
Grandfather provision for live animals and product in commerce in the United States prior to implementation date of the law shall be deemed to US origin.
Upon implementation of the law, verification of country of origin may be established through existing records. Satisfactory documentation for any potential USDA audit shall include normal business records, animal health papers, import or customs documents, or producer affidavits.
The compromise would ease record keeping for verifying an animal's country of origin by allowing existing records, such as normal business records, animal health papers and import or customs documents, to be used.
Item 4. Fines & Liability:
Penalties shall be included for continuous willful violations.
Item 5. Prohibition on use of Mandatory ID to verify origin:
Retains current law.
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