November 15, 2013
Don't expect the Farm Bill to end country-of-origin labeling (COOL) of meat, stated an article in the Kiplinger Ag Letter. Since Congress required the origin of animals to be listed on retail labels, it's up to Congress to change it. But it will not do so via an amendment to the Farm Bill because that would derail the bill.
Canadian and Mexican cattle and hog operations claim labeling costs them money and want it to do away. They will get another boost from the World Trade Organization (WTO), which already ruled against COOL once and, we expect, will rule that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) latest version of the regulation also constitutes an unfair trade barrier.
It is predicted that COOL is not going anywhere soon. Ultimately, more tinkering is likely.
Peter Orwick, executive director for the American Sheep Industry Association remarked, "We understand that USDA will implement the new labeling rule on Nov. 23 as outlined in the May 2013 Federal Register for WTO compliance. The labels will refer to born, raised and harvested according to applicable country."
Reprinted in part from Kiplinger Ag Letter