New Report Shows Mandatory Meat Labeling Had Negative Benefit-Cost Ratio

October 15, 2019

Kansas State University Ag Economist Glynn Tonsor says the mandatory country-of-origin labeling (mCOOL) law that was in effect from 2009 until 2015 did not have a positive impact on consumer demand for beef and other meat products. His comments come in light of renewed discussion about reviving the failed law, which came at a cost to the livestock and meat sector, but provided no benefit. 

Tonsor said new analysis of meat demand before, during and after mCOOL was in place offers no evidence of a positive demand development following implementation of the law. 

“If you don’t have evidence of a benefit, and you do have evidence of a cost, that’s not a desirable benefit-cost ratio,” said Tonsor, citing that as the reason mCOOL was repealed by Congress. 

Tonsor hopes industry leaders will make policy decisions based more on research-based information, including the new report by him and his colleagues, and less on emotion.