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"M" COOL enforcement

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Here's a question for you R-CALF wizards.

How do you prove where an animal was "BORN" without an enforceable traceback system??

Hmmmm???

You want to prove where an animal was born but you don't want a traceback. Haha! That's quite a dilema isn't it?

I had to laugh when someone recently made the comparison between marked lobsters and marked beef. Let me help you out here, a lobster is shipped as a lobster. In contrast, a beef carcass can become 300 individual packages shipped to different destinations. If you R-CALFers understood beef fabrication or at least listened to those who do, you'd realize that.

You R-CALFers and your over simplistic solutions for PERCEIVED problems. Sheesh!


~SH~
 

burnt

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Sandhusker said:
This is only difficult if you want it to be.

While it eludes me at the moment, I'm sure this quote must contain some inherent wisdom.

Actually, it reminds me of an old joke -

Q. - How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb?

A. - Only one, but the light bulb really has to want to change . . . .
 

hypocritexposer

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Does RCALF still have members?

Seems to me that there are fewer and fewer people that would even be on the list of "informed", to answer any question as it pertains to RCALF.

And if there were any informed members, wouldn't they be afraid of being sued if they offered an opinion?
 

Cinch

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hypocritexposer said:
Seems to me that there are fewer and fewer people that would even be on the list of "informed", to answer any question as it pertains to RCALF.

I take it that you acknowledge that you are not on that list.
 

Cinch

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~SH~ said:
Here's a question for you R-CALF wizards.

How do you prove where an animal was "BORN" without an enforceable traceback system??

Hmmmm???



~SH~

How do you prove something is Angus without an enforceable traceback system?
 

Sandhusker

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~SH~ said:
Here's a question for you R-CALF wizards.

How do you prove where an animal was "BORN" without an enforceable traceback system??

Hmmmm???

You want to prove where an animal was born but you don't want a traceback. Haha! That's quite a dilema isn't it?

I had to laugh when someone recently made the comparison between marked lobsters and marked beef. Let me help you out here, a lobster is shipped as a lobster. In contrast, a beef carcass can become 300 individual packages shipped to different destinations. If you R-CALFers understood beef fabrication or at least listened to those who do, you'd realize that.

You R-CALFers and your over simplistic solutions for PERCEIVED problems. Sheesh!


~SH~

So a carcass can become 300 packages, so what? I'll guarantee you there is a label on all 300 today.

You Packer Puckerers and your manufactured obstacles. Sheesh!
 

Kato

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Don't forget that the cost of those 300 labels will not be absorbed by the packers. :!: :!:

They will be passed back to the producer, or on to the consumer. Of that we can all be sure. :shock:

I would like to see a report in a year's time on how this has all worked out.

My prediction is as follows.

Higher beef prices? YES
Increase in beef sales? NO
Increase in returns to the producer? NO
Increase in government jobs? YES
 

Sandhusker

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Kato said:
Don't forget that the cost of those 300 labels will not be absorbed by the packers. :!: :!:

They will be passed back to the producer, or on to the consumer. Of that we can all be sure. :shock:

I would like to see a report in a year's time on how this has all worked out.

My prediction is as follows.

Higher beef prices? YES
Increase in beef sales? NO
Increase in returns to the producer? NO
Increase in government jobs? YES

The labels are already there, Kato.
 

the chief

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I think the world was a better place when South Dakota lost its internet service for a long period of time. :wink:
 

RobertMac

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Kato said:
Don't forget that the cost of those 300 labels will not be absorbed by the packers. :!: :!:

They will be passed back to the producer, or on to the consumer. Of that we can all be sure. :shock:

Kato, I had to change the business address on my USDA labels...you know what the "CHANGE" cost me...ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!! You should ask AMI for some money...you're certainly doing their PR work for them! :?

I would like to see a report in a year's time on how this has all worked out.

My prediction is as follows.

Higher beef prices? Yes, for the same reasons the price of ALL FOOD IS GOING UP!

Increase in beef sales? Not if we don't respond to statistically developed reports with un-provable hypothesis supporting preconceived conclusions blaming health problems on animal fat and red meat! :mad:

Increase in returns to the producer? Not for those that sit on their butt and whine about every change in the industry!! :?

Increase in government jobs? Yes, if USDA needs more personnel to do their job properly and verifiably, so be it.[/quote]
 

RobertMac

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Hey there, Ole Buddy...does this mean you are again going to grace us with your presence here??? :D Don't worry, Question has been keeping Sandhusker in top form! :wink: :)

You have to get beyond this "blame R-CALF for everything" problem you have...not good to hate so much. :( MCOOL is about more than 5% of beef sold...it should and will be about all imported foods.

SH said:
How do you prove where an animal was "BORN" without an enforceable traceback system??

Simple, if product crosses our border, it should be marked as "Imported from the country of origin". If product NEVER CROSSES OUR BORDER, then, by default, it has spent its entire existence in the USA. Don't come back with the "born here, raised there, processed here" garbage...if it crossed the border, then it was outside the regulatory control of EPA, FDA, and USDA ect.( not necessarily that's better or worse, but that is where the line is drawn...at the border) The industry segregates for a variety of issues everyday and segregation for MCOOL is simple and the most economical solution. With segregation, labeling those 300 packages becomes a none issue!!!!!! Tell me, how do all these branded beef programs get THEIR LABEL on all 300 packages of beef per animal?????
Maybe you should find some different sources to listen to on beef fabrication!!!! :eek: :shock: :eek:f :shock: :wink: 8)

Same ole SH
welcome back!!!!! :lol:
 

PORKER

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COOL Amongst other provisions, it will assess to the responsible producer(s) any fine or penalty issued to Hormel resulting from producer non-compliance. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has also met with suppliers to discuss how they can comply with the law.

The USDA is recommending that U.S. cow/calf producers keep sales or purchase receipts, feed records, calving records, individual cow performance records, ear tag records, ear tag transfer records, in-processing records, and other records tracking the movement of livestock. Producers are being advised to check with their sales points to determine what documents are required, and on what dates the buyers will require them, in order to comply
 

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6/23/2008 8:14:00 AM


Cattle Producers Of Washington Hear USCA Update



Nearly 70 cattle producers gathered in Moses Lake, WA to hear an industry update from Cattle Producers of Washington (CPoW) Immediate Past President Lee Engelhardt and U.S. Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) Director of Government Affairs Jess Peterson.



"Today is a great day. We stand united in our work and success in getting Congress to pass mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL)," Engelhardt told the crowd. "Some said it couldn’t be done and that we were wasting our time, but we pulled together, worked with our congressional delegations and made it happen. We can’t back down from these issues in the face of adversity. We have to work the process and the system and recognize that it takes time to make things happen. It took us nearly ten years to get COOL passed, but it’s a law now. Let’s take that winning game plan and implement it with other issues. We can, and will, keep winning if we maintain our focus and unity," said Engelhardt.



During his Capitol Hill update, Peterson congratulated producers for their hard work on COOL passage. "Now we must go to work promoting our new label," he noted. "USCA is working at all levels to enhance the mandatory beef checkoff program to enable a portion of checkoff funds to promote U.S. beef. Meetings with the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB), with potential contractors for checkoff funds, Congress and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) demonstrate USCA’s commitment to making this happen. While it may take time, USCA will not stop working towards this goal until it becomes reality."



Peterson also updated the crowd on USCA’s work to address the Department of Agriculture’s problematic rule to increase meat imports from Argentina. "It’s unfathomable to cattle producers as to why the Administration would trust a country like Argentina that has defaulted on billions of dollars in loans and constantly fights U.S. farmers and ranchers in the World Trade Organization (WTO). Instead of addressing these issues, the Administration is intent on rewarding Argentina with a categorization that would permit the country to create an imaginary boundary to manage an airborne disease. USDA has yet to remove this proposed rule, and USCA hopes Congress will stand up for cattle producers and introduce legislation to prevent this rule from being implemented."



Engelhardt concluded the evening’s event by encouraging producers to stay engaged and unify with CPoW and USCA to keep winning on the issues. "I am proud of these associations and what is being accomplished. Let’s keep it up," stated Engelhardt.
 

PORKER

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COOL law answer from Sec. of Ag

REPORTER: My question was on country of origin labeling, and I think you answered that. Just to clarify though, once this happens, once it's implemented in October 1, do people have six months to actually do it? There will be a grace period?

SEC. SCHAFER: Well, we expected to do it right away, Bill. We wanted to do it now. We understand that this takes awhile to implement. Sometimes you need new packaging materials. You want to run out some of your old packaging materials, all that kind of stuff. We're not going to be in there being the labeling police here over the first six months. It's not going to say, gee, here's the target October 1, and by the way take six months off. You know, we want them to implement it immediately, but we're going to be working with those retailers out there, and the packagers, to make sure that it is phased in and by the end of the six months that we'll have full compliance.

MODERATOR: Next question will be from Haylie Shipp of Northern Ag Network. And she'll be followed by Stewart Doan. Haylie?

REPORTER: Hi, Secretary. I'm going back to COOL here, and I guess you've been speaking a lot on the retailer side of it. And I'm wondering as far as livestock producers I believe that all cattle that are in the U.S. are going to be grandfathered in at some point this summer, and I guess what responsibility will people have that are calving this fall as far as documenting their calves?

SEC. SCHAFER: Well, I guess, I suppose that depends whether it comes before October 1 or after October 1, but we're going to implement the law, and producers as well as retailers are going to be required to follow this labeling rule. And come October 1st, those calves that come on the ground are going to have to be labeled.

Lots of Recordkeeping
 

PORKER

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Our USCA delegation met with USDA officials in charge of writing the COOL law. The primary goal of these meetings was to learn more about the timeline regarding the writing and finalizing of the COOL regulations. The conclusion of this meeting found me feeling a lot more confident that USDA officials are going to do the right thing and timely progress is being made on drafting and implementing workable COOL rules. COOL nay-sayers claimed COOL would be delayed because of the setbacks in the Farm Bill. USDA officials, however, assured us despite delays in the Farm Bill, progress on the COOL regulations continued. The leadership of Secretary Ed Schafer and Under Secretary Bruce Knight has ensured that the bureaucratic hurdles have been cleared, and the officials charged with writing the rules are able to make the needed progress.



My fellow cattle producers and I were pleased to hear that these individuals at USDA are working hard to properly write and implement this rule. It was refreshing to hear these updates, and cattle producers should be thankful to USDA officials for standing up and doing the right thing for cattle producers.



The rule remains on course as it will be reviewed by the Office of Management & Budget (this can take up to 90 days, but USDA is hopeful it can take much less). The rule will then be published in the federal register for a 60 day comment period by Congress and the public. USDA officials are hopeful that the comment period will be completed on or before September 30, 2008.



As with the fish and shell fish COOL implementation, there will be about a six month educational period where USDA officials will work with retailers, processors and state inspectors so they understand what is expected of them under the new regulation. After that they will work to see that the labels are appearing in stores and are accurate.



USDA Officials again clarified to us that they do not have authority over cattle producers to require an individual identification system or additional paper work. They did say they will acknowledge the M & CAN brands on imported cattle from Mexico and Canada as well as RFID tags from Canada.
Danni Beer
 

PORKER

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Learned today from Staff at ScoringAg that all schools (colleges University etc) will have to do the COOL law for all animals and crops sold into the public food supply,no COOL for the schools own raised and processed food for school consumption only. Also Bison and 3/8 beefalo is not covered under COOL ,so no need to tag bison but you will need a pedigree to prove the 3/8 beefalo breeding.
 

PORKER

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Just out from Successful Farming magazine

If you have livestock, you could be affected by the new mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL) program. The program doesn't start at the retail level until September 30. But for producers, they'll need to have records of the origin of their livestock after July 15.

The law says records used in your business will suffice and USDA cannot audit producer records. However, because USDA will be auditing meatpackers and retailers, they're likely to establish "a market-driven record-keeping system," Lubben said.


I say use www.ScoringAg.com as your farm recordkeeping system and make the COOL easy.Three seconds is all ScoringAg requires when tracking a product’s lineage. (This story was written by the PACKER magazine)

In that time, growers, shippers, packers, transportation providers and retailers can view an item’s traceback records and inspection history.

ScoringAg is a global, online record-keeping system housing data for thousands of fruit and vegetable products, said William Kanitz, president of Bradenton, Fla.-based ScoringSystem Inc., which developed ScoringAg.

ScoringAg’s objective is to provide a simple, reliable, immediate, inexpensive traceback system that minimizes foodsafety risks for handlers worldwide and helps avoid product ambiguity in future recalls, Kanitz said of the Web site, www.scoringag.com .

“This system provides a verifiable audit trail, and with the click of a button, it can give you that in three seconds,” Kanitz said. “It’s an exchange of information along the way, so everyone’s happy. And, if there is a problem, we only recall the portion where there is a problem, not in every warehouse in the U.S. That’s what the industry needs.”

To search an item’s history, registered users can enter either barcode, radio frequency identification(RFID) or SSI-EID codes — which is the internal code ScoringAg automatically creates when a grower, shipper or packer registers a product in its system — and the product’s real-time profile is instantly uploaded, Kanitz said.

The profile features any commodity information the handler wants to include — such as origin, producer, lot number, harvest dates, certifications and tests received —and each product’s records accompany it through the supply chain, Kanitz said.

Additionally, the records are secure, so if there is an error, a new report is created, and the Unix-based system chronologically archives the product’s previous records, he said.

“We’re looking to make life easier for produce brokers and retailers,” Kanitz said. “The records travel with the product from field to fork.”

The system also separates traceback information for each item included in mixed packs, so there is no confusion about the origin of the individual products, Kanitz said.

Like RFID and barcodes, retailers can find SSI-EID codes on the individual item or package. Chains like Publix and Wal-Mart have expressed interest in using the record-keeping catalog, Kanitz said.

Costs are minimal, too, as only $10 is needed to establish an account on ScoringAg — a considerably cheaper alternative than companies creating their own traceback networks, he said.

Not to mention, total SSI-EID label costs will only amount to one-fourth of a penny for shippers and packers, while growers are charged 55 cents for each commodity field they want to feature in the database, he said.

ScoringAg is available in English, Spanish and Portuguese, and French and German translations are in the works.

The Unix-based system, however, uses UTF-8 — a uniform way of representing characters entered in a computer — so the database recognizes any language that is typed into the system.

Consumers also can access ScoringAg, but they receive a public version of the records that don’t include the grower’s name, he said.

Down the road, Kanitz hopes to make consumers more aware of ScoringAg by having kiosks set up in grocery stores where consumers can punch in the code.

Kanitz would also like to see a universal symbol established in the produce industry that indicates whether or not an item is traceable, he said.
 

PORKER

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The paperwork and COOL documentation requirements in the current law are unclear. All livestock producers will need to provide verifiable information at sale regarding where animals were born and raised.

Producers will be responsible for maintaining an acceptable recordkeeping system, as well as bearing the costs of audits to ensure the accuracy of the information. Although the current law does not specify what kinds of records or documentation are required to comply with the law, we are told that self-certification will not satisfy the requirements.

Because the law does not specify what kind of recordkeeping is required, packers and retailers could demand impossibly complicated documentation. The American Meat Institute is telling its packer members that they should demand the following from livestock producers:

•documentation of where the livestock purchased were born and raised;

•affidavit or declaration with each load of livestock purchases stating that there is a verifiable audit trail in place that identifies where the livestock in each load were born and raised;

•access to records so that the packer can perform audits as necessary to satisfy retail customers, ensuring that an accurate record-keeping system exists and that it has been or is being verified by an acceptable third-party;

•indemnity for the packer for liability incurred from inaccurate information supplied by the producer.

2. There is no exemption for cattle born prior to the effective date of the law. If Congress fails to make any changes to the current law this year, most calves born this year will need to meet the criteria established by the law when those calves are marketed in the Fall of 2008.

Many customers will want country-of-origin information on cattle purchased this fall (calves currently on the ground and cows intended for slaughter) and may have more specific requirements.

It will be difficult – if not impossible – for producers to meet the law’s requirements for calves NOW when USDA hasn’t even written the final rule yet.


Gleanings from the news!
 
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