“Americans want to know were their food comes from and COOL has been ensuring that for several years,” Logan said.
“While the multi-national meat packers want to obscure this information and have continued to attack COOL through the World Trade Organization and the U.S. judicial system, the consumer’s right to know must continue to prevail,” Logan said.
Logan referred to a ruling today by the WTO that found that COOL in its amended form discriminates against the Canadian and Mexican livestock industries. The U.S. amended the COOL regulations after a similar ruling in 2012.
Logan said that the National Farmers Union has been a leader in preserving COOL for several years because of food safety concerns, the consumer’s right to know and to protect the value of U.S. beef, pork and poultry farmers and ranchers.
He and other members of the NFU board of directors believe that COOL implementation rules can be further tweaked administratively.
“The WTO has not found the law to be non-compliant,” Logan said. “At issue is our current implementation and that can be fixed.”
“Under the guidance of USDA, any changes to COOL to ensure full compliance with today’s decision should be able to be made administratively, while maintaining the integrity of COOL labels,” said Roger Johnson, NFU president.
A May 2013 public opinion poll found that more than 90 percent of consumers support COOL, and feelings for the labeling law are equally strong in rural America. “We are confident that given that level of support, Congress will reject all heavy-handed attempts to make legislative changes to this important labeling law,” said Johnson.
Since its passage in 2002, COOL has been under constant attack by the trans-national meat processing industry, and by the agribusiness advocates that operate under their influence – yet COOL has been repeatedly upheld by U.S. courts.