October 24, 2016

Study Finds COOL Labels Haven’t Affected Livestock Exports

Country of origin labeling (COOL) has been a hot topic in the news for months. The United States wants to label meat products with information about where the animals and processed meat come from, but the World Trade Organization (WTO) has stated over and over again that they believe these steps are potentially harmful to other countries. Canada and Mexico filed objections to the labeling, fearing that consumers would not want to buy products from their countries. WTO sided with Canada and Mexico. But a new study¬†from Auburn University shows that COOL laws have not undermined Canada and Mexico's livestock exports to the U.S. Instead, study author Robert Taylor found that COOL was implemented in 2008 just as the severe United States recession ended demand for expensive meats. Wenonah … [Read more...]

China Completes Paperwork for Poultry Export to U.S.

The USDA's FSIS announced yesterday that China has completed the "necessary paperwork" to certify four of its poultry processing plants so they can export processed poultry products to the U.S. The raw poultry will have to come from "approved sources", but food safety advocates are concerned. Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food and Water Watch said in a statement, "China's food safety system is a wreck. Food & Water Watch has been fighting FSIS on this issue since it first proposed granting China equivalency status in November 2005. There have been scores of food safety scandals in China, and the most recent ones have involved expired poultry products sold to U.S. fast food restaurants based in China. Now, we have FSIS moving forward to implement this ill-conceived decision, … [Read more...]

Coalition Supporting COOL Change Sends Letter to Congress

Last week a U.S. District Court of Appeals refused to rehear the country-of-origin (COOL) labeling dispute between the United States and the World Trade Organization, effectively making COOL the law of the land. After this decision, stakeholders known as COOL Reform Coalition sent a letter to members of Congress asking them to "immediately authorize and direct the Secretary of Agriculture to rescind elements of COOL that have been deemed to be non-compliant with international trade obligations." That coalition is comprised of organizations such as Hormel Foods, ConAgra, Cargill, National Beef Packing Company, Smithfield Foods, Abbott, Anheuser-Busch, Archer Daniels Midland, Nestle USA, Nestle Waters North America, Unilever, Tyson Foods, and the North American Meat Association. They are … [Read more...]

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