The Meat Promotion Coalition, a group of meat packers and agribusiness companies seeking "to block the U.S. Department of Agriculture from requiring meat to be packaged with a country-of-origin label," is circulating a position paper among Washington DC policymakers. The paper "notes that USDA estimates now place regulatory and implementation costs at between $583 million and $3.9 billion during the first year." However, the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office has questioned the USDA figures (which include "the cost of labeling fish and fresh fruits and vegetables, in addition to meat"), calling them "not well supported." The Coalition also claimed that meat packers would "have to invest $25 million per plant to comply with the new rule." The labeling issue has received greater attention after mad cow disease was discovered in one U.S. and three Canadian cattle.
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