Country 105

Country 105


Agriculture Report

COOL Law Repeal Passes First Test

By Fadi Didi

Repeal of COOL law sailed through U-S House of Representatives by almost 70 per cent.


Length: 1:01

It's a positive step for Canada.

A repeal of a controversial meat-labelling law sailed through the House of Representatives by almost 70 per cent last night.

But it will now face a tougher test in the U-S Senate.

The meat-labelling law had prompted threats of tariffs from Canada against a range of American products -- including wine, chocolate and frozen orange juice.

Before the vote, Canadian ambassador Gary Doer said he wanted to see the measure pass the House with 250 votes, which would represent a healthy majority.

It wound up getting 300 votes.

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Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz says yesterday's vote in the U-S Congress backing off from country of original meat labelling sends a strong message that COOL must be repealed once and for all.

Ritz says the Americans know that COOL is costing thousands of American jobs and billions in economic harm to the highly integrated North American livestock industry.

But he says while it's a positive step, the only way for the U-S to avoid retaliation by late summer is to ensure legislation repealing COOL passes the Senate and is signed by the President.

Defenders say consumers deserve to know where their meat comes from -- but opponents say it's just protectionism, complicating imports without any food-safety or inspection benefits.

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The National Farmers Union is calling on the federal government to make sure fusarium research genetics remain in the public domain.

The group says the feds have issued a call for proposals to transfer and possibly sell off Agriculture Canada cereal crop research and plant breeding germplasm.

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A survey of graduates of the Canadian Total Excellence in Agricultural Management program suggests confidence is one of the program's major benefits.

The survey was done by Farm Management Canada and Agri-Food Management Excellence.

It found more than 90 per cent of the grads felt they gained a moderate or significant benefit in confidence in their ability to manage their farm because of the program.

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New standards that are being proposed by the Obama administration would reduce the amount of renewable fuel required in gasoline.

The Environmental Protection Agency says the standards set by the current law cannot be achieved -- due partly to limitations on the availability non-ethanol renewable fuels that can be produced.

It says next-generation biofuels -- made from agricultural waste such as wood chips and corncobs -- have not taken off as quickly as Congress required and the administration expected.

E-P-A officials say the new requirements would drive growth at an "ambitious but responsible'' rate.

 

 


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