National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson said that the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) recent ruling on Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) clearly shows U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is headed in right direction.
“This ruling demonstrates the legitimate nature of the COOL objective and finds that the current labeling rule is an improvement over the original rule, but it remains unbalanced between consumer information and production costs,” said Johnson. “This decision, as it has been issued, will likely be modified on appeal and NFU strongly urges USTR to appeal the ruling.”
Johnson moderated the panel discussion, and was also joined Danni Beer, president of U.S. Cattleman’s Association, Patrick Woodall, research director at Food & Water Watch, and Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, to discuss the details and implications of the WTO ruling.
On Monday, the WTO released the long-awaited, 200-plus page ruling that found the regulatory goal of COOL was WTO-compliant, and that the new 2013 labels provided better, more accurate information for consumers.