A new study released yesterday (Thursday) by Auburn University professor Dr. Robert Taylor shows Country-of-Origin Labeling did not cause the declines in livestock exports to the United States – which coincided with a substantial global economic downturn that sapped demand for more expensive meat products. Taylor’s study says COOL has not had a significant negative effect on the price paid for imported slaughter cattle relative to comparable domestic cattle. In fact – the fed cattle price basis declined after the law went into effect. Also – the study says qualitative and econometric analysis of Mandatory Price Reporting and monthly trade and price data cast considerable doubt on assertions that COOL negatively affected imports of slaughter cattle. Finally – the study says USDA monthly data on imports of 400 to 700-pound cattle did not show COOL having a significant negative effect of imports of feeder cattle from either Canada or Mexico relative to placements in U.S. feedlots.
U.S. Cattlemen’s Association President Danni Beer says opponents have continued to state that COOL acts as a barrier to trade and adversely affects cattle imports and prices – but this study proves that is not true. National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson says COOL is popular with consumers because they want to know where their food comes from. Johnson says it’s popular with farmers and ranchers because they are proud to put the American label on their products. He says Congress needs to stay the course on COOL.