|Country-of-origin labeling (COOL) remains in place for sheep and lamb|
For Immediate Release
December 18, 2015 – Ottawa, Ontario – In a joint press held earlier today, Minister Lawrence MacAulay (Agriculture) and Minister Chrystia Freeland (International Trade) announced that an omnibus appropriations bill that includes language to repeal U.S. Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) for beef and pork has cleared both the U.S. House and Senate, and was sent to President Barack Obama to be signed. But the bill will not see the repeal of COOL for sheep and lamb products. President Obama has now signed the bill.
Both Ministers MacAulay and Freeland claimed this recent development a ‘victory’ for Canadian agriculture. But Canada’s sheep industry is exceptionally disappointed in the federal governments elation over what is merely a selective repeal of legislation that will continue to contravene Canada’s free trade agreements.
Prior to BSE and COOL, the economic value of sheep and lamb exports exceeded $18million annually. In 2014, Canada exported sheep and lamb export revenues were less than $500,000. As a result of COOL, the Canadian sheep industry estimates it has lost between $223 million and $305 million in sheep and lamb exports.
“The federal government’s position from the beginning of COOL discussions should have been in defense of all Canadian agriculture, and not just a select few” said Phil Kolodychuk, Chairman of the Canadian Sheep Federation