USCA (December 2, 2015) – The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) continues its support for country of origin labeling (COOL) as the program faces an upcoming decision at the World Trade Organization (WTO). December 7th is the targeted date for a WTO ruling on appropriate levels of retaliatory tariffs to be proposed by Canada and Mexico.
USCA President Danni Beer commented on the upcoming ruling, “USCA continues to believe that the WTO process should be allowed to play out, unimpeded, and the Administration and USDA be given proper time to address any ruling issued on COOL. However, given action in Congress by COOL opponents in introducing legislation that would repeal the program, we have called on the USCA membership and producers across the country to stand in support of COOL and oppose these repeal-based efforts.”
“Deceptive labeling practices are never a valid or workable solution. Producers, consumers, and the general public alike all need to join in the final push to ensure consumers have access to an accurate and definitive label. I urge everyone to take action to support a labeling program with integrity and validity that can also adhere to international guidelines and effectively concludes the WTO debate.
“The COOL legislation introduced by Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) and Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) offers a path forward on COOL that ensures truth in labeling and addresses WTO concerns. The bill maintains the integrity of COOL and identifies products “born, raised and harvested in the U.S. Products from Canada and Mexico are provided with a simple, voluntary option to inform consumers of the meat’s origin. The Hoeven-Stabenow approach to COOL mandates that any label stating “Product of the U.S.” is exactly that. The program operates on a voluntary basis just as Canada maintains its voluntary COOL program.”
“As the December 7th decision nears, and Congress continues to debate fiscal year 2016 appropriations language, we urge producers and consumers across the U.S. to contact their Senators and urge them to support the Hoeven-Stabenow bill. Truth in labeling is critical in today’s global marketplace and any action against COOL, is action in the wrong direction."