Congress COOL Labeling Repeal

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Congress COOL Labeling Repeal

Recently, the COOL (country-of-origin labeling) rule was repealed by Congress, with President Obama signing the bill as well, according to The Wall Street Journal. At Markem-Imaje, we realize what this means for consumers; that those serving meat on their tables won't know for certain whether it came from animals raised in the U.S. or from some unknown location elsewhere in the world. As suppliers of industrial coding and marking solutions, we know the importance of clear labeling for consumers, and their need to know where the foods they eat originated. Why did Congress repeal the COOL labeling rule? The WTO (World Trade Organization) ruled that labeling products reading "Product of the USA" and similar wording discriminates against meat raised and slaughtered in other countries. A few weeks ago, Canada and Mexico were given permission by the WTO to impose tariffs on goods produced in the U.S. to the tune of more than $1 billion if the labels were not removed. The biggest factor that led Congress to repeal the COOL labeling rule seems to be the fact that the tariffs imposed on American products could possibly go outside of meat products, extending to furniture, jewelry, and even mattresses. Due to the repeal, American consumers may soon see more meat products in supermarket coolers that are imported from Australia, Brazil, and New Zealand. Regardless of its origin, all meat products will still be subject to USDA inspection prior to availability in grocery stores, according to news reports. However, food labeling advocates stand firm in their belief that doing away with COOL is equivalent with removing ingredient labels. In 2013, a study determined that of Americans, 90% supported meat products that included country-of-origin labels. To no one's surprise, Canadian and Mexican hog and cattle producers are celebrating the COOL labeling repeal, which has reportedly affected their business substantially. At Markem-Imaje, we know it's difficult for industries in other countries and consumers in the U.S. to agree on many issues when it comes to labeling. As a supplier of coding and marking solutions for industries around the globe, we work vigorously to provide industrial systems that are reliable, of the utmost quality, and cost-effective. Contact us today for all or your industrial marking needs!

January 10, 2014
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