USDA Ag Marketing Service answers MCOOL concerns | TSLN.com

USDA Ag Marketing Service answers MCOOL concerns

Amanda Nolz

TSLN file photoAs MCOOL makes its debut this year, there will certainly be further questions from cattle producers on labeling and record keeping.

You can’t enter a rural coffee shop or the local elevator without hearing talk about fuel prices, commodity futures, upcoming sale dates and of course, Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (MCOOL).

For many, the USA stamp on meat products signifies an opportunity for extra dollars to start falling into the pockets of United States cattlemen. Consumers will obviously choose American beef over any other, right? For others, MCOOL is a hassle, convoluted with paperwork and dodgy statutes, and they are convinced that consumers will simply buy the cheaper meat products in an attempt to cut down on their grocery bill.

Numerous cattle organizations are encouraging their members to sign affidavits and pass them along to their cattle buyers; however, many are concerned that their simple “John Hancock” isn’t going to pass muster. Although cattle feeders will provide packers with their calves’ country of origin, packers say it will be difficult and expensive to maintain separate identification once the cattle enter the plant. Packers may choose to label as products of Canada, United States and Mexico, which defeats the purpose of marketing beef of U.S. origin.

Moreover, USDA predicts significant additional costs to implement MCOOL, with little economic benefit. Estimates show that MCOOL will cost $2.5 million in its first year. As producers prepare to comply with new MCOOL regulations, many questions arise. What are the requirements of MCOOL? What meat products will be labeled? What will the impact of MCOOL really be for both consumers and producers? In a recent panel discussion about the ruling, USDA Agricultural Marketing Service addressed those questions with the following answers.

You can’t enter a rural coffee shop or the local elevator without hearing talk about fuel prices, commodity futures, upcoming sale dates and of course, Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (MCOOL).

For many, the USA stamp on meat products signifies an opportunity for extra dollars to start falling into the pockets of United States cattlemen. Consumers will obviously choose American beef over any other, right? For others, MCOOL is a hassle, convoluted with paperwork and dodgy statutes, and they are convinced that consumers will simply buy the cheaper meat products in an attempt to cut down on their grocery bill.

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Numerous cattle organizations are encouraging their members to sign affidavits and pass them along to their cattle buyers; however, many are concerned that their simple “John Hancock” isn’t going to pass muster. Although cattle feeders will provide packers with their calves’ country of origin, packers say it will be difficult and expensive to maintain separate identification once the cattle enter the plant. Packers may choose to label as products of Canada, United States and Mexico, which defeats the purpose of marketing beef of U.S. origin.

Moreover, USDA predicts significant additional costs to implement MCOOL, with little economic benefit. Estimates show that MCOOL will cost $2.5 million in its first year. As producers prepare to comply with new MCOOL regulations, many questions arise. What are the requirements of MCOOL? What meat products will be labeled? What will the impact of MCOOL really be for both consumers and producers? In a recent panel discussion about the ruling, USDA Agricultural Marketing Service addressed those questions with the following answers.

You can’t enter a rural coffee shop or the local elevator without hearing talk about fuel prices, commodity futures, upcoming sale dates and of course, Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (MCOOL).

For many, the USA stamp on meat products signifies an opportunity for extra dollars to start falling into the pockets of United States cattlemen. Consumers will obviously choose American beef over any other, right? For others, MCOOL is a hassle, convoluted with paperwork and dodgy statutes, and they are convinced that consumers will simply buy the cheaper meat products in an attempt to cut down on their grocery bill.

Numerous cattle organizations are encouraging their members to sign affidavits and pass them along to their cattle buyers; however, many are concerned that their simple “John Hancock” isn’t going to pass muster. Although cattle feeders will provide packers with their calves’ country of origin, packers say it will be difficult and expensive to maintain separate identification once the cattle enter the plant. Packers may choose to label as products of Canada, United States and Mexico, which defeats the purpose of marketing beef of U.S. origin.

Moreover, USDA predicts significant additional costs to implement MCOOL, with little economic benefit. Estimates show that MCOOL will cost $2.5 million in its first year. As producers prepare to comply with new MCOOL regulations, many questions arise. What are the requirements of MCOOL? What meat products will be labeled? What will the impact of MCOOL really be for both consumers and producers? In a recent panel discussion about the ruling, USDA Agricultural Marketing Service addressed those questions with the following answers.