March 21, 2018

Another Flip Flop on COOL

A World Trade Organization (WTO) panel has ruled against the U.S. country-of-origin labeling law, according to the Wall Street Journal. Canada and Mexico are opposed to the labels, since they fear that Americans who see that meat was raised or slaughtered in another country may not buy it.

GavelsOther parties in this dispute include China, the European Union, India, Brazil, Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Columbia, Guatemala and Mexico. The United States will have 60 days from the date of the report to appeal the decision.

The history of COOL (country of origin labeling) has been long and convoluted. The proposed rule would require information about the location of each step in the production of muscle cuts of meat. Where the animal was born, raised and slaughtered would have to be indicated on the label. And commingling of muscle cuts would no longer be allowed. In November 2014, the law required that meats sold in the United States must be labeled with this information was put into place. Canada estimates that COOL has cost that country about $1 billion a year since the labeling requirements became mandatory.

The United States has been battling it out with the world courts for years. Meatpackers in the U.S. oppose the labeling rules as well, because they believe they drive up costs. But food safety and consumer advocates say that consumers have the right to know where the products they buy come from.


  1. Dawn Minerick says:

    As a consumer, I want to know where anything comes from before putting it in my body!!!

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