WTO finds US COOL regulation to be illegal

by Editor fleischwirtschaft.com
Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A panel report being circulated to members by the World Trade Organization finds that the US country-of-origin labelling regulations regarding beef and pork that were included in the 2008 farm bill to be in violation of WTO rules.

In a complaint filed by the Canadian and Mexican governments with the WTO, both alleged that the mandatory COOL provisions were inconsistent with the US's obligations under the WTO agreement.

The WTO agreed with the positions of Canada and Mexico and found that the COOL regulations violated WTO rules by according less favourable treatment to imported cattle and hogs than to like domestic product. The panel also ruled that the regulation did not fulfil its legitimate objective of providing consumers with information in origin.