While some farmers are against “country of origin labeling,” which will be required next year to show where meat is produced, it’s being applauded by Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley. He’s leading a U.S. Senate Finance Committee Hearing today that will address the competitiveness of U.S. operations located outside the United States. Grassley says country of origin labeling will be a boon for producers — and consumers. This is the second of two planned hearings Grassley is holding on the subject. Grassley says the international competitiveness of U.S. companies is under increasing pressure in an era of expanding global markets, falling trade barriers, and technological innovations that melt away traditional notions of national borders. He says country of origin labeling is good for family farmers, independent livestock producers and for people who are buying apples, for example, saying they’d want to know if those apples are from Washington state or somewhere else. Grassley says there may be more costs attributed to country of origin labeling initially, but he thinks Iowa producers will reap many benefits from the requirement too. He says shoppers too will be better informed. A study from the Iowa-based National Pork Producers Council says country of origin labeling, that’ll be required next year to show where meat was produced, will cost farmers ten dollars per hog and will cut pork consumption seven-percent.
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