Minister Devin Dreeshen ‘strongly opposed’ Country of Origin Labels

Alberta government says placing mandatory COOL rules will cost the beef and pork industries billions

Alberta’s Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Devin Dreeshen, says he is opposed to the push for mandatory Country of Origin Labels.

Reports from the U.S. House of Representatives state several members are in favour of updating the free-trade agreement between Canada, United Stated and Mexico (CUSMA) to include mandatory Country of Origin Labels (COOL).

A letter from June 25 to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer asks for COOL labeling on meat products in an attempts to “improve the revised NAFTA deal.”

“A final NAFTA package must restore the country-of-origin (COOL) meat-labeling program passed by Congress and affirmed by U.S. courts,” the letter states.

Canadian law already states certain food made entirely in another country must indicate its origin.

The Alberta government is in “strong opposition,” saying representative from the United States and Canada spent “nearly a decade fighting for the repeal of COOL on beef and pork products.”

Minister Dreeshen says this policy isn’t something the industry wants to revisit.

“The members of Congress pushing this need to realize it isn’t something industry in Canada or the U.S. want to revisit,” Dreeshen said in a statement.

The old COOL law was repealed in 2015 after the World Trade Organization rules the American-made law violated trade obligations.

Wine, brandy, dairy, honey, fish and seafood, both fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, eggs, meat products and maple are all products which are required by Canadian law to have an origin label.

“It isn’t consistent with American trade obligations, and it isn’t good for farmers in either country who want a fair and predictable trade relationship,” said Dreeshen.

The Alberta government says it will increase costs on the meat industry, raising cost on the consumer for beef and pork products.

Specifically, consumers in the United States would see an increase on beef and pork products as a result.

“American and Canadian consumers benefit immensely from the current agricultural trade between our two nations. Raising barriers to that trade is bad for the economies of Canada and the United States,” says Tanya Fir, minister of Economic development, trade and tourism.

COOL was not part of the original NAFTA deal, under the Clinton administration. It was passed during the Bush administration in 2008, and put into effect in 2009.

Just Posted

A Beacon of Hope shines in Sylvan Lake

A fundraiser for the Safe Harbour Society to educate about opioid addiction was held on July 13

Gas prices in Sylvan Lake higher than surrounding area

The gas in town is being sold with a retail margin of about four to seven cents a litre

Sylvan Lake Hockey Camp hits 45 year milestone

The long-running hockey camp sees kids come from all over the world every year

Sylvan Lake business releases new loose leaf teas

Laurie Breeze and English Rose Tea Rooms have released Mrs. B’s Loose Leaf Teas

Customs and Classics revved into Sylvan Lake

The 13th annual show had 163 cars parked on the Meadowlands Golf Club driving range July 13

VIDEO: Plant-based burgers may not be as healthy as they seem

Both the Impossible and Beyond Burger have more saturated fat than beef burgers

Natural gas producers demand government action in open letter to Kenney

The letter warns that the viability of the natural gas sector is in jeopardy

Remains of missing Edmonton woman discovered outside of North Battleford: RCMP

The 25-year-old Edmonton woman was reported missing on May 12

Companies to appear before panel today in public inquiry into B.C. gas prices

A three-member panel by B.C. Utilities Commission will listen to up to four days of oral hearings

Interviews with family of highway shooting victim heard in Calgary court

Horst Stewin’s relatives were set to testify by video from Germany this morning, but a court translator said she was unable to proceed

Lower gas prices slow annual inflation rate to Bank of Canada’s 2% bull’s-eye

Prices showed strength in other areas — led by a 17.3 per cent increase in the cost of fresh vegetables

RCMP investigating alleged ‘sexual misconduct’ by cyclist on BCIT campus

BCIT said they were reviewing video evidence of the incident

Graphic suicide scene edited out of ‘13 Reasons Why’ finale

Suicide prevention groups support the decision

High-speed rail link would run from Vancouver to Seattle in under 1 hour: study

Annual ridership is projected to exceed three million

Most Read