ID NEWS: House Ag leaders: More work needed on COOL

Mandatory country-of-origin labels (COOL) will not pay off for farmers and ranchers, in the opinion of House Agriculture Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA).

Reuters reports that, on Thursday, Rep. Goodlatte said he "always favored a voluntary approach." Following a lengthy committee hearing, he commented that the proceeding had reinforced his belief that "we are moving forward with an idea that will have a negative impact on our producers and little or no benefit for those it was intended to help."

Rep. Charles Stenholm of Texas, Democratic leader on the committee, concurred. "From the testimony received, it is apparent that, if we are going to have COOL, more work is needed on the current proposal," he opined.

In opponent testimony, Agriculture Department chief economist Keith Collins said that producers might pay more in compliance costs than they gain, if consumer interest in buying U.S. products is "tepid."

The House Livestock and Horticulture Subcommittee is expected to hold additional hearings, says Reuters.


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