National Farmers Union, the U.S. Cattlemen's Association, Consumer Federation of America and American Sheep Industry Association sent a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman last week urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to reject an extension to the implementation of country-of-origin-labeling (COOL).
In a recent ruling, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia rejected the preliminary injunction request for a delay of implementation because the court found that the plaintiffs had not established a likelihood of success on their claims that the revised COOL regulation violates the first amendment or that the revised regulation exceeds the agency's authority, among other findings.
In the meantime, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has established a compliance panel on COOL in Geneva.
The purpose of a compliance panel is to determine whether measures found to violate WTO obligations have been brought into conformity with WTO obligations. The panel is composed of all original members of the WTO panel established in 2009 on the same issue, which will accelerate the process.