Friday, May 29, 2015

US House ag committee introduces bill to repeal COOL

    Legislation has been introduced in the U.S. that would repeal country of origin labeling laws on meat products.
    From WATTAgNet:
    The U.S. House Agriculture Committee on May 20 approved H.R. 2393, a bill to amend the Agriculture Marketing Act of 1946, by a recorded vote of 38-6. If the bill becomes law, it will repeal country of origin labeling (COOL) requirements for beef pork and chicken, while leaving the requirements for all other covered commodities intact.
    The legislation follows a decision made May 18 by the World Trade Orgainzation (WTO), calling the U.S. COOL rules unfair in the United States’ ongoing COOL dispute with Canada and Mexico.  It was the fourth time that WTO ruled against the U.S. on the matter. Both countries have threatened to retaliate if the COOL laws were not repealed.
    “This bill is a targeted response that will remove uncertainty and restore stability for the United States by bringing us back into compliance,” said House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway. “We must do all we can to avoid retaliation by Canada and Mexico, and this bill accomplishes that through full repeal of labeling requirements for beef, pork, and chicken. I appreciate all the support from my colleagues on both sides of the aisle. We will continue working to get this to the House floor as quickly as possible to ensure our economy and a vast range of U.S. industries and the men and women who work for them do not suffer any economic implications of retaliation.” 
    A number of industry groups, including the National Pork Producers Council and the North American Meat Institute, have encouraged Congress to repeal the COOL laws.

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