April 23, 2024

WTO Rules Against U.S. on COOL. Again.

The World Trade Organization has ruled against the United States appeal on an October 2014 ruling delcaring country-of-origin labeling (COOL) in violation of international trade law. U.S. lawmakers want to repeal the legislation.

Food LabelsThe report issued May 18, 2015 is the fourth and final ruling on COOL. The legislation requires that all livestock from Mexico, Canada, and the United States is separated from birth and identified as to origin on the label. Canada and Mexico are against COOL, saying that it reduces the value of their exports. The ruling lets Canada and Mexico impose retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods this summer that could reach into the billions of dollars.

Supporters of COOL want to work with Congress to make changes with the legislation to bring it into compliance. Most consumers want the country-of-origin labeling on their products.


  1. The US is imperfect. We have multiple outbreaks due to a variety of pathogens and other issues over the course of a year. Still, our food supply originating within the US is safer then elsewhere. Without massive funding to the FDA, only a small sample of food products originating outside the US can be analyzed for pathogens, chemicals, illegal drugs and colors and other contaminates. Though increasing, the number of foreign food inspections conducted is only a small percentage of foreign firms exporting to the US. The CFIA is a strong agency with inspections within Canada, but they are probably in the same boat as the US when it comes to imports. So though I believe in the safety of Canadian origin products – I’m not so sure of their imported ingredients. Let’s face it, many countries have a poor record for food safety. I know very little regarding governmental oversight into food safety in Mexico. It’s a poor country so I doubt they have a robust inspection and food sampling program. So, yes I want to know where my food comes from even if it is from Canada or Mexico. Consumers worldwide have a right to know where their food comes from regardless on its affect on industry. If COOL laws prevent products from one country to be purchased maybe it will cause that country to work more towards food safety. That benefits everyone, especially those within that country.

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