WASHINGTON, June 21, 2017 - Two livestock groups are trying to have country-of-origin labeling reinstated through the court system. On Monday, the Ranchers-Cattlemen Legal Action Fund, United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF USA) and the Cattle Producers of Washington filed a lawsuit in the Eastern District of Washington arguing that the Meat Inspection Act requires a country-of-origin label on imported products.
In 2015, Congress repealed COOL requirements for beef and pork by getting rid of language from the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 that had been inserted in more recent farm bill deliberations, but did not address any language in the Meat Inspection Act.
R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard said in a statement that by not enforcing COOL, USDA is helping beef packers “by making sure consumers cannot distinguish imported beef from USA beef.” COOL was repealed in an effort to avoid retaliatory tariffs from Canada and Mexico after a World Trade Organization dispute ruled the U.S. COOL language ran afoul of international trade obligations.