COOL Ruling Reactions

wtoThe World Trade Organization this week issued its fourth and final ruling against the United States over Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) for livestock and meat products.

The final ruling maintained previous conclusions that “the amended COOL measure increases the record-keeping burden for imported livestock entailed by the original COOL measure.”

Asked for his reaction, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the future of COOL is in the hands of Congress now. Vilsack response to COOL ruling

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway (R-TX) held a press conference Tuesday to announce legislation to repeal the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) requirements for beef, pork and chicken. Conaway was joined by a bi-partisan group of representatives from a variety of states including Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA), Rep. David Rouzer (R-NC), Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR), and Rep. Brad Ashford (D-NE), as well as representatives from livestock organizations and other industries that are targets of potential trade retaliation by Canada and Mexico.House Ag COOL presser

Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), together with Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and consumer advocacy groups also held a press conference on Tuesday in support of COOL for reasons of food safety, and noted the WTO ruling as an example of how free trade agreements can negatively impact U.S. laws. Tester-DeLauro COOL presser

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