Canadian Packaging

Canada’s beef with harmful U.S. law on meat labeling

International Trade Minister Ed Fast says a U.S. farm law hurts Canada's meat producing industry.

February 11, 2014  By Andrew Joseph

Canada’s International Trade Minister Ed fast says that Ottawa will do “everything we can” to fight the provisions of a U.S. farm law, that he says is hurting Canada’s meat producing industry.

The provision Fast is concerned with is the country of origin labeling requirement for meat—a legislation signed off on last week by U.S. president Barack Obama—calling it “counterproductive.”

The provisions were actually first introduced back in 2008, and required packaged meats to identify where the animal was born, raised and slaughtered—as a way of better informing the consumer.

On the flip-side, opponents to the labeling say that the whole thing adds costs and violates the NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement).


Fast says that the U.S. legislation undermines North American supply chains and costs the Canadian pork, beef and cattle industry $1-billion a year.

Some U.S. meats processors have stated that they can not afford the time and money to sort, label and store meat from Canada, as the country-of-origin labeling law would require them to do.

Canada says that on February 18, 2014 at a WTO (World Trade Organization) hearing, it will try to enforce a prior WTO ruling that backed Canada’s position against the U.S. labeling issue.

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