The U.S. has announced it will appeal a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling against a law requiring country-of-origin labels (COOL) on all meat sold in grocery stores, a move that disappointed Canada and Mexico, both of which want the law changed.

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

Big meat processors opposed the provision, which they said would unnecessarily boost costs and disrupt trade.

A WTO panel ruled in November that the country-of-origin labeling, or COOL, provision violated WTO rules on technical barriers to trade. The case was brought by Canada and Mexico, which have sizeable cattle and hog trade with the U.S.

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