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What’s Your Take On The Final COOL Rule?

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This week’s poll asks, “Do you agree with WTO’s final ruling on COOL?”

I’ve been closely following as the World Trade Organization (WTO) considered the appeal case of the U.S. country of origin labeling (COOL) law brought on by Canada and Mexico. In late June, WTO issued its final decision, affirming the legitimacy of COOL as a tool to inform consumers about where their meat comes from. However, WTO also ruled that the law is unfair in bringing extra challenges for Canadian and Mexican beef and pork producers, saying it makes products that don’t originate from the U.S. look less favorable in the meat case.

With WTO approval to implement the COOL legislation, the big challenge will be doing so without impeding free trade from Canadian and Mexico.

According to Reuters, “WTO ruled that the labeling program unfairly discriminated against Mexico and Canada, putting pressure on the U.S. to bring the scheme in line with global trade rules. The WTO Appellate Body said that COOL is wrong because it gives less favorable treatment to beef and pork imported from Mexico and Canada, the countries that brought the case, than to U.S. meat.

“The decision is not subject to appeal, but gives the U.S. time to comply and does not immediately alter the labeling rules. U.S. officials hailed other parts of the decision, which they said affirmed the right to adopt country-of-origin labels, even though the U.S. will have to change how it operates the program.

“Meat labels became mandatory in March 2009 after years of debate. U.S. consumer and some farm groups supported the requirement, saying consumers should have information to distinguish between U.S. and foreign products.”

This week’s poll at beefmagazine.com asks the question, “Do you agree with WTO’s final ruling on COOL?”

With 95 votes in so far, the votes are nearly split, with 48% opposing the ruling and 45% in agreement. Another 8% are on the fence about it.

What’s your take? Vote in the poll here and share your opinions in the comments section below.

Discuss this Blog Entry 9

Anonymous (not verified)
on Jul 12, 2012

I favor the ruling. Cattle from Mexico--Canada if fed in US for more than 100 days then should be considered us origin and no discount from packers.

Horral Jones (not verified)
on Jul 12, 2012

I agree with the final ruling ,the American Rancher work hard at producing healthy beef and quality beef .Our feed lots and rancher should be rewarded . Horral Jones Kosse Texas

Keith (not verified)
on Jul 12, 2012

I support COOL. If we do not support COOL then why does it matter if our dinner plate is made in USA or CHINA. Why have a label on anything.

c. r. easley (not verified)
on Jul 12, 2012

I agree with the COOL law. Consumers need to know where thier food comes from.

Terry Church (not verified)
on Jul 12, 2012

For years can goods in our supermarkets have stated that they are the product of one country or another. There hasn't been any controversity over the can goods so why should there have been over meats. I understand the ruling and why. With cattle numbers having been down, we needed the influx of the extra beef. Maybe if the COOL labeling stated the country of orgin, but also stated that the meat was processed in the US there might not have been as much a problem. I personally like be able to know where my food comes from. This don't mean that I wouldn't buy products from another country if it was an item I wanted. I understand how that trade relations could be damaged. We need good trade relations to market our products overseas.

Keith Flake (not verified)
on Jul 12, 2012

As a US beef producer COOL is NOT good for me. The packer discounts $40 a head any pen that has Mexican origin cattle even though I've owned them for over a year. The health regulations for crossing the border are more stringent than any in the US and then the cattle fattened in the US should be no different than native cattle.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Jul 15, 2012

Keith, Mexican cattle always have a discount regardless of COOL. It's a shame that they're bringing in Mexican cattle that have a high chance of having ticks and TB and yet they want to sell it as U.S. beef. We need strong mandatory COOL.

Keith Flake (not verified)
on Jul 12, 2012

When a 300-400 pound import steer passes stringent screening at the border and then has 700-800 pounds added in the US - then that animal should not be considered different than any native steer.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Jul 15, 2012

Mexican cattle have always had a discount regardless of COOL. The Mexicans should not be able to have their beef labled as U.S. beef. The record amount of beef comeing out of Canada and Mexico shows that COOL does not limit their ability to enter the U.S. beef market. We need stong mandatory COOL.

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BEEF Daily Blog is produced by rancher Amanda Radke, one of the U.S. beef industry’s top social media “agvocates.”

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Amanda Radke

A fifth-generation rancher from Mitchell, SD, Amanda grew up on a purebred Limousin cattle operation in which she and husband Tyler are active. She graduated with a degree in agriculture journalism...

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