Canada has filed a WTO complaint against the American imposition of COOL – country of origin labeling. The main advocate of this expensive, protectionist legislation is the farm group known as R-CALF. If you can risk raising your blood pressure, listen to what R-CALF is now saying about Canadian beef production. In a letter sent to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Trade Representative, R-CALF says Canada should be considered in violation of the WTO because we continue to subsidize our cattle and beef sector in order to penetrate the U.S. market. According to R-CALF, Canada is using “its treasury to out-compete independent U.S. cattle producers, whose prices are depressed because Canada is unjustly and artificially propping-up its cattle supplies beyond what the available market can bear.” R-CALF has compiled a long list of our subsidies. This includes some loan programs in Manitoba, the CAIS program and a bunch of programs that date back to when the BSE crisis first began. It would be great to have a proper analysis of Canadian support for the beef sector versus what U.S. producers receive. Zealots like those in R-CALF probably wouldn’t believe it anyway, but it would be useful to have a true comparison for people on both sides of the border who like to base their opinions on facts. I’m Kevin Hursh.