Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods and the WTO Trade Dispute on Meat Labeling

Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods and the WTO Trade Dispute on Meat Labeling. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Remy Jurenas and Joel L. Greene. April 22, 2013.

Most retail food stores are now required to inform consumers about the country of origin of fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, shellfish, peanuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, ginseng, and ground and muscle cuts of beef, pork, lamb, chicken, and goat. The rules are required by the 2002 farm bill (P.L. 107-171) as amended by the 2008 farm bill (P.L. 110-246).  Other U.S. laws have required such labeling, but only for imported food products already pre-packaged for consumers. The final rule to implement country-of-origin labeling (COOL) took effect on March 16, 2009. Less than one year after the COOL rules took effect, Canada and Mexico challenged them in the World Trade Organization (WTO), arguing that COOL has a trade-distorting impact by reducing the value and number of cattle and hogs shipped to the U.S. market, thus violating WTO trade commitments agreed to by the United States.
[PDF format, 46 pages, 575.88 KB].

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