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Senators Ask USDA for COOL Rules

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Today 7/11/2005 5:18:00 PM

R-CALF Cattle Update: Bipartisan Effort Asks USDA For COOL Rules

(Billings, Mont.) – Eleven U.S. Senators last week sent a bipartisan letter to Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to publish final rules for the Mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling (M-COOL) law passed in the 2002 Farm Bill, originally scheduled for implementation on Sept. 30, 2004.

The letter, dated July 7, 2005, was signed by: Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., Sen. Craig Thomas, R-Wyo., and Sen. John Thune, R-S.D.

"USDA collected over 5,600 comments and has had over a year and a half to publish an interim final rule," the letter stated in part. "U.S. producers have waited long enough and want to know that their products will be marketed as 'Made in the U.S.A.' . . . Congress enacted this law and fully expects USDA to implement it in a common sense, flexible and least burdensome way for producers."

The senators also requested that substantive changes be made to the interim final rule, including a benefit analysis, a step not originally included in the proposed rule, published Oct. 20, 2003.

"These senators are stepping up and encouraging USDA to do the right thing," said Danni Beer, a South Dakota rancher and chairwoman of R-CALF USA's COOL Committee. "We are pleased with this progress and we are looking forward to working with USDA to implement COOL as intended by Congress.

"R-CALF USA sent comments to USDA following the 2003 release of the proposed rule, and since then, USDA has implemented COOL for seafood and shellfish in a low-cost, common sense manner," Beer continued. "We wholeheartedly agree with the senators' request to implement the law in a straightforward and workable fashion, much like the agency did in the final rule for seafood and shellfish.

"Opponents have argued against M-COOL, claiming burdensome paperwork and high implementation costs would make the program unfeasible," she concluded. "For the Mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling for seafood and shellfish that was implemented in April, USDA requested just over $3 million, from the Senate Agriculture Appropriates Committee – a drop in the bucket compared to other federally mandated programs."
Opponents have argued against M-COOL, claiming burdensome paperwork and high implementation costs would make the program unfeasible.
Not with www.scoringag.com as it web-based with no burdensome paperwork and even a packing plant can start up our database for $10.00 bucks.Least Cost traceback system in the world. Here is proof of that https://www.scoringag.com/Ag.cfm?sfa=main.register for packer and slaughterhouse records.
STAFF,How many producers use your signup page that you have posted in the above posted url or do they just call in to get running on your database?

Does your cost estimate of $10 per head just account for your bar graph labels and computer tracking programs or does it account for the additional labor to segregate carcasses and beef products by country, applying these labels, and the slowing of chain speeds to accomodate it.

My guess is your $10 per head is DIRECT COSTS, not INDIRECT COSTS!

I do not know where anybody gets That much money per head as when I run the database page and put 0 in the pictures it figures out 55 CENTS per animal .I happened to sign up at the World Beef Expo last year and see this sign up page
Sorry STAFF, I miss quoted your figures Here is what your server said Payment Information
Subscription Level: 7
Subscription Type: Annual
Maximum number of entities: 1000
Expiration date: 2006-07-13

Sub Total: $750.00
Photos: $0.00
Discount: $225.00 (-30%)
Total: $525.00

It figures out at 52.5 cents per animal in a 1000 head herd.
Robert Mac, at the packer level the cost is built around the system of moving records in and moving records out, as boxes of beef from one EID ends up in portions of the cuts that are shipped out of the plant,thus reuseable records as the beef moves on to the next food handler keeping its identity, be it a transporter to wholesaler.Those records can be reused up to 220 times per year at a cost of $0.0025 per record for a packing plant.With a canner/cutter you may only have 25 records per EID animal recieved or 300 packages per steer as normal packaged product.
The scoringag database will also system mesh with a national ID system via comma, limited or xml transport of data.
We have not seen any difference in chain speeds and in some case's would enhance extra speed as per automation.As for labels which is automated ,it depends on the printed and how the labels are presented at a certian station within the plant.
As for the amount of user's in the system that is information that we will not disclose but I can tell you that we handle electronic records from around the world ,even poor farmers from Africa needing RFID cattle records shipped to Germany to satisify EU. laws.
Staff, I'm still small enough that each of 300 packages per animal can be weighed and ID stamped with the old reliable self-contained automated carbon unit...sweet little black lady. :D I'll check back with you when she wears out. Sounds like you got it going on though...much to SH's dismay. :lol: :lol: :lol: Keep up the good work.
Thanks RobertMac, Here is our lead man in Mississippi:
Tulon McKee
Corinth, MS 38834
Sales Rep: Agriculture

SPID - 0118632

[email protected]

We have hitting packing plants worldwide.On another note SH ,(your bar graph labels ).We use PDF417 barcodes and 2-D data Matrix barcodes as the bar graph labels just don't hold enough info.We are installing in South America RFID label printers to label boxes of meat going to Europe with total source point-to-point verification for traceback .
No dismay RM!

You forget, I participated in the USDA's first total process verified branded beef program. Source verification is nothing new to me or the technology to accomplish it.


Once again, do your cost estimates include the INDIRECT COSTS of the labor involved in segregation of beef carcasses and beef products or are you just figuring the DIRECT COSTS for your program?

Is your unwillingness to answer my question the answer to my question?

Staff, answer's to SH questions

Question;Once again, do your cost estimates include the INDIRECT COSTS of the labor involved in segregation of beef carcasses and beef products.
First of all SH,the costs shown are not estimates but actual prices to run the databases per record download and upload per cutting station imput infromation and labeling .In alot of cases the labor costs actually drop because of a trolley system RFID and labeling working together.There usually is less labor needed but that depends where in the plant.If you are pulling just heart and tounge with traceback one printer site can do 2 jobs.So our costs are direct for the database .Since we don't need segregation of beef carcasses because of the licence plate system working with our database, costs drop.You always have animal records where you stand at.

Are you just figuring the DIRECT COSTS for your program?
Yes we are figuring the cost to move ,store,and archive direct data plus moving data on to the transportation sector.Installing and equipment cost will depend on the level of plant technology needed to turn a profit.Since thermal labels and RFID labels have a defined cost and are the daily costs of operation we don't attempt to include them as they can vary according to where you are in the world.

Is your unwillingness to answer my question the answer to my question?
Haven't had much time for tomfoolery today as the Europeans need answers too.By the way I commend you for using the first total process verified branded beef program but as you know if you sat by the edge of a road too long ,technology will pass you by.One of the new possibles in packing today is segregation of beef on the fly according to sex,breed,feed,finnish or grade,and animal source conditions. Thank you for your questions.

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