March 29, 2013
The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) this week filed comments in support of the proposed changes to bring country-of-origin labeling (COOL) into compliance with the World Trade Organization in an effort to keep labeling mandatory for American lamb.
In his comments, Clint Krebs, ASI president, complimented the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for proposing changes that will both improve the operation of the program and bring mandatory COOL requirements into compliance with U.S. international trade obligations. ASI remains a strong supporter of COOL for lamb products.
"Since currently and historically there are relatively few lambs imported into the United States, specifying the birth, raising and slaughter production practices on labels should not have a significant effect on lamb retailing or the processing industry cost," commented Krebs. "In the case of meat that does originate from imported lambs, specifying where the production practices occurred should help reduce consumer confusion about the origin of their lamb."
ASI encourages producer leaders to submit COOL comments before the April 11 deadline. To submit comments, go to www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=AMS-LS-13-0004-0001