Canadian Packaging

The End of COOL in U.S.?

By Canadian Packaging staff   

General Coding & Labeling Country Of Origin Label labels North American Meat Institute

Could country of origin labels be on the way out for U.S. sold meats? The U.S. House of Representatives thinks so.

On June 10, 2015, the United States House of Representatives voted to remove the Country Of Origin Label (COOL) from meat products sold in the U.S with a 300-131 vote.

Of course, it’s not a done deal yet—the Senate now gets to examine the bill.

The bill is a new one, introduced only last week after the WTO (World Trade Organization) says that using COOL creates unfair trade barriers for the U.S.’s NAFTA trade partners Canada and Mexico.

Both Canada and Mexico have detested the COOL labels on U.S. sold products, and had previously threatened trade actions against the U.S.

COOL was put into action by the 2002 and 2008 farm bills, more than likely as a way to entice American shoppers to purchase American, though pundits would claim it was just to provide more information to consumers to know where its meat was coming from.

Gamesmanship aside, meat processors in the U.S. have wanted to remove COOL labeling, but American livestock producers want to keep it.

In response to the House vote, the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) issued a statement describing it an an important step.

“Chairman Conaway and Representative Costa have shown incredible leadership in encouraging the U.S. live up to its obligations and abide by World Trade Organization rules,” says NAMI (North American Meat Institute) president and chief executive officer Barry Carpenter via a statement. “It’s an issue of marketing, and that should be decided in the marketplace. We hope the Senate will move quickly to vote for repeal so the President can sign the bill and put this failed experiment behind us.”


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