The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), in written comments submitted on mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL), reiterates its view that the program will be costly and of little benefit to consumers.

No matter how one views it, $2.5 billion in implementation costs and $212 million annual costs over 10 years of operation are large price tags for benefits that are “difficult to quantify” and “small and (accruing) mainly to those consumers who desire country-of-origin information,” according to the producer organization. All consumers will pay to secure these benefits for a small minority.

The new COOL labels provide the necessary description as to the origin of the meat contained in the product. Assuring the origin, yet maintaining flexibility in the production flow, has been NPPC’s goal during rule development.

NPPC commended the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for implementing the law in a manner that minimizes costs and maximizes whatever benefits may be available.

NPPC adds that USDA’s proposal to use a system of affidavits achieves at a reasonable cost an “auditable chain of possession” that documents the origin of animals.