Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Tories choose Cargill and friends over consumers

The U.S. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and other cattle producers and meat companies have sued the U.S. Department of Agriculture over country-of-origin labelling rules. Many consumers and groups such as Los Angeles-based Made in the USA Foundation favour the new rules but producers enjoy the benefits of mixing imported beef with domestic.

McClatchy reports a Canadian angle to the story in Cattle producers want to get rid of new meat labels, July 22, 2013
"The new labeling rules also could ignite a trade war with Canada, which is threatening to retaliate. Last month, the Canadian government called the new rules a “protectionist policy” that discriminated against foreign competition. Ottawa said it might respond by imposing tariffs on a long list of products, including pork, fruits and vegetables, pasta, chocolate, cheese, office furniture and many more."
It seems the Canadian government is willing to take a strong stand on behalf of multinational agribusiness. Trouble is, Ottawa intends consumers in this country to be the cannon fodder in any trade war.

I sense a touch of irony in Canada's response. The Chair of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association's Foreign Trade Committee is Albertan Dave Solverson. The CCA is lobbying "to ensure favourable access to international markets" and they don't want Americans informed by country-of-origin labelling. Yet, Mr. Solverson and his daughter Joanne were featured last year in advertising material that proclaimed McDonald's Restaurants of Canada used only beef produced in this country. Solverson had been recruited for the campaign by Cargill, a giant that Forbes rates the largest private company in America. Cargill Canada is the exclusive beef supplier to McDonald's Canadian restaurants.

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4 comments:

  1. It is so sad that the trade associations and the government flaks get to play as though they are in their own sand box and as though there are no repercussions for the citizens the government is supposed to represent. Would that we could isolate ourselves from their games and pissing contests. Relocalization is a helpful notion, but the idea of removing personal responsibility through a government fiat or a corporate charter will kill any constructive initiative. At least locally, there is a certain shame factor that can be brought to bear, as long as people are wide enough awake and personally aware to be able to sort out valid criticism from vendetta.

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  2. The real issue, what should be put on label is whether animals were kept in feed lots,if they were fed GMO, if they were vaccinated, fed hormones, or if they were pasture raised, so consumer has ability to make an informed decision when buying product.

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  3. I know people (besides yourself) do it all the time, but I really feel that to call the Harpofascists/Reform crowd "Tories" is an insult to a long tradition of actual Tories in the UK and the Progressive Conservatives who used to exist in Canada. Everything these guys (and psuedo gals) do is an exercise in fraudulent impersonation of things they are not. I can respect actual Tories, like Robert Stanfield, Dief the Chief or even Joe "who" Clark - but this sorry excuse for a coup against democracy I can only hold in the utmost complete contempt!

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  4. @kootcoot..... I always smile when I read the oxymoron "progressive" conservative.
    Everything else you have written. Total agreement.

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