Sens. Tom Johnson (S.D.) and Michael Enzi (Wyo.) are circulating a letter urging support from other senators to defend mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (COOL). The senators express appreciation and encouragement for the continued defense of this issue by U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk.
Canada and Mexico formally requested and have been granted a dispute settlement panel before the World Trade Organization to rule on the legality of the U.S. COOL law after the two countries complained that the rules are stifling their livestock industries.
The senators explain that over 45 other nations already have implemented a food labeling program which provides country of origin information to consumers. In fact, both Canada and Mexico have implemented food labeling programs of their own to make such information available. The food labeling programs established to date in other countries clearly indicate that the United States is implementing a reasonable program, which is compliant with our trade obligations.
Support for this effort is appreciated. Sheep producers are asked to contact their senators with encouragement to join this Senate letter.