Friday, November 8, 2013

Webinar to look at pros and cons of Country Of Origin labeling

  • COOL Webinar is geared for those in the meat industry, lobbyists, attorneys, producers, etc.
  • Labels would, for example, point out goat meat from New Zealand and catfish from Vietnam.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- The hot debate over Country of Origin Labeling, or COOL, will be addressed Nov. 14 in a webinar being offered by the National Agricultural Law Center, part of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

COOL was first included in the 2002 farm bill.

“Those who are pro-COOL argue that consumers have a right to know where their food comes from,” said Harrison Pittman, director of the National Agricultural Law Center. “Opponents, including Canada, Mexico and some U.S. meat processors -- say the labeling is unwarranted, costly and protectionist.”

Exactly how competing views and overlapping challenges will play out is far from certain, but the implications for producers, trading partners, consumers, and others can be significant. Questions about the multi-sided issue will be discussed during a webinar set for Thursday, Nov. 14, from noon-1:30 p.m. Central/1 p.m.-230 p.m. Eastern. 

Pittman, who will serve as moderator, said the webinar is designed to be useful designed to be useful to anyone — attorneys, lobbyists, policymakers, extension personnel, producers, and others — with an interest in Country of Origin Labeling. It will begin with a synopsis of COOL, including its recent history and status. It will then continue in a point/counterpoint format for discussion of key legal and policy issues.

Presenters for this webinar are J. Dudley Butler, of the Farm and Ranch Law Group of Benton, Miss., a former administrator of the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration, as well as long time attorney and farmer; and John Dillard of Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Matz PC, of Washington, D.C. Dillard writes extensively on legal issues affecting agriculture and his blog “Ag in the Courtroom,” is featured on

Continuing Legal Education credit is available for this event and attorneys seeking CLE should contact Rusty Rumley at Attorney registration for CLE time for this webinar is $75. Registration for all others is $50. For more information, including registration is available online at

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