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Livestock Groups Disappointed with COOL Ruling

Canadian livestock groups including the Canadian Pork Council (CPC) say they are disappointed with the U.S. Court of Appeals decision to deny a preliminary injunction intended to block the rollout of the mandatory country-of-origin labeling rules, also known as COOL.

Country of origin labeling is a U.S. law, which requires meat to be labeled to include information on where an animal was born, raised and slaughtered. The measure was first introduced in the farm bill, which took effect in 2009. Trading partners including Canada and Mexico argue that the rule unfairly discriminates against imported livestock.

“The court challenge is a separate and distinct process than WTO dispute settlement and our primary focus is prevailing at the WTO compliance panel. Failure to accept a result favourable to Canada and to make WTO consistent amendments to the COOL measure could lead to retaliatory tariffs against US exports,” CPC’s Chair Jean-Guy Vincent said in a release.

This marks the third legal battle on the meat labeling rule that Canadian livestock groups have challenged. Opponents of COOL maintain that the legislation fails to meet trade commitments set out by the World Trade Organization (WTO). While Canada has been successful in challenging COOL at the WTO level, it has been unsuccessful in swaying U.S. Congress to fix the rules to make it compliant.

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