COOL is a Big Issue for NFU

Cindy Zimmerman

nafb14-nfu-gouleI had the opportunity to sit down and chat with National Farmers Union Senior Vice President of Programs Chandler Goule last week at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting convention. We discussed a variety of policy issues where NFU is actively involved on the federal level, and one big one is Country of Origin Labeling (COOL).

Goule says strongly supports COOL and they believe the United States should maintain the law despite the recent WTO ruling against it. “When you really read (the WTO ruling), it narrowed the scope so the U.S. is taking the steps in the right direction to become compliant,” he said, stressing that there is no need for Congress to take any immediate action. “If everything went perfect at the WTO, we’re looking at the end of 2015 before anything can happen.” By anything, Goule is referring to potential trade retaliation against the United States by Canada and Mexico, and he says there are a number of appeals processes that would have to take place before that would occur.

Another issue NFU has a strong stance on is the Secretary of Agriculture’s proposal for a second beef check off. Goule says they support get rid of the current 1985 beef check off and forming a new one under the 1996 generic check off act. “If we would move to the ’96 act, it would be more flexible, it would be more cow-calf producer friendly,” he said. “We will do everything we can to write a good checkoff, but we can only have one checkoff running at the same time.”

In this interview, Goule also talks about NFU’s policy regarding the Waters of the U.S., the Renewable Fuel Standard, the lame duck session, the new dairy program, and trade. Interview with Chandler Goule, NFU
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