U.S. to Appeal Ruling on Country of Origin Labeling Regulations

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U.S. to Appeal Ruling on Country of Origin Labeling Regulations

Recently it was announced that USTR (United States Trade Representative) Ron Kirk would appeal the World Trade Organization's ruling against its COOL (Country of Origin Labeling) regulations. This appeal will delay reaching a final decision as to whether Country of Origin information will or will not be necessary on meat products. Essentially, the COOL law would require that imported and domestic meat products have labels informing consumers where these products originate. Canada and Mexico agricultural leaders are particularly upset about the United State's decision to appeal the WTO's ruling; in fact, Canada feels that the COOL measure is blatantly protectionist. According to Ed Fast and Gerry Ritz, Canadian Minister of International Trade and Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food respectively, "With this delay, the U.S. is yet again preventing both of our countries from enjoying the benefits of freer and more open trade and is hurting farmers, ranchers, and workers in the U.S. and Canada." The World Trade Organization holds that the COOL law breaks trade rules; the organization's ruling was made after Canada and Mexico objected to the law, which requires that labeling regarding the product's origin be added to all meat products sold at the retail level. Consumers have become more demanding in recent years, and want to know not only where meat comes from, but also want to know the origin of other products as well. In denying the COOL law, farmers and ranchers in the U.S. are denied the opportunity in their own marketplace to demonstrate and showcase the high quality of their own food products. Farmers and ranchers in the United States work hard to provide quality, abundant food products not only to the U.S., but around the world. According to Roger Johnson, President at National Farmers Union, farmers are proud of what they do. Without COOL laws in place, farmers are denied notoriety for what they do, and consumers are denied information regarding where the foods they eat come from. One thing that is clear is that this debate is not likely to end soon. At Markem-Imaje, we understand that consumers have become more demanding in recent years regarding the ingredients in the products they purchase, and where the products originate. Whether your industry is food, beverage, electronics, personal care products, pharmaceuticals, or postal, depend on us for all of your traceability and industrial printing equipment needs.

January 10, 2014
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