Thursday, December 10, 2015

Repeal of country-of-origin meat labels may be tucked in U.S. budget bill

California ranchers hope a massive spending bill can be used to end a country-of-origin labeling law that could otherwise cost them serious money. Facing possible tariffs from Canada and Mexico, the ranchers and their Capitol Hill allies are scrambling to include a repeal of the labeling law in the so-called “omnibus” appropriations package needed to fund the federal government after Friday.
“This is a big problem needing fixing quickly,” said prominent San Joaquin Valley rancher John Harris. “The House has already passed a legislative fix. The Senate needs to get something done.” A World Trade Organization panel ruled May 18 that U.S. country-of-origin labeling requirements for beef and pork, known as COOL, violate U.S. international trade obligations. Labeling meat products as foreign provides “less favorable treatment to imported Canadian cattle and hogs than to like domestic products,” the appellate panel concluded...more            

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