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Agriculture Today

COOL compliance date set for May 23

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December 19, 2012 | 2,445 views | Post a comment

The deadline for the United States to come into compliance with the World Trade Organization’s ruling on the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) law has been set for May 23, 2013, according to a Dec. 5 U.S. Cattlemen’s Association press release.

The U.S. Cattlemen’s Association will continue to work with officials at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Office of the U.S. States Trade Representative to ensure that the implementation of the terms of compliance is consistent with the findings of the World Trade Organization.

The cattlemen’s association has been a strong supporter and advocate of COOL since long before its implementation in the current form in the 2008 Farm Bill.

Upon implementation of COOL, Canada and Mexico filed a complaint against the United States. Since then, the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association has worked with the administration to ensure that the integrity of the law and the subsequent World Trade Organization ruling are upheld.

U.S. Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) President Jon Wooster said, “USCA has remained committed to this issue and will continue to fight for the U.S. cattle producer and consumers’ right to this information regarding where their meat products originate and are raised.”

The World Trade Organization ruling regarding this case reaffirmed the legitimacy of the COOL law and its guiding principles. The matter of concession remains in the implementation of the law, specifically in regard to the burden that processors assert is placed on them when they are forced to segregate cattle to comply with labeling specifications.

“USCA is pleased that through the WTO [World Trade Organization] ruling it was made apparent that the COOL law is legitimate and through a few minor changes to implementation procedures, cattle producers and consumers can continue to benefit from this rule, said Wooster, regarding the deadline. “The fortunate part of the ruling is that these remaining issues can be addressed through the regulatory process and not the legislative arena.”

The cattlemen’s association “will continue to work to ensure that the changes needed by May 23, 2013, maintain the legitimacy of the rule and do not take away from the basis of the law, which is to allow consumers the right to this information and for U.S. cattle producers to identify their products at the retail level.”

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