Ag Policy/Food Prices

Statement by CFA’s Chris Waldrop on WTO Decision on Country-of-Origin Labeling

“U.S. consumers want more, not less, information about their food. It’s a shame that the meat industry and our trading partners have fought so hard to deny consumers such basic information about where their meat is coming from.

“Consumer Federation of America’s own polling in 2013 found that a large majority of Americans strongly support mandatory country of origin labeling for fresh meat. Consumers also strongly favor requiring meat to be labeled with specific information about where the animals were born, raised and processed.

“Today’s final ruling by the World Trade Organization now puts in motion a WTO process to determine the level of sanctions Canada and Mexico can impose on the U.S. While Canada in particular has claimed high damages due to COOL, a study by Auburn University Professor Robert Taylor found that COOL had no impact on imports of cattle from Canada.

“Since the process is ongoing and we do not yet know the level of possible sanctions, if any, it is premature for Congress to intervene.”

Contact: Chris Waldrop 202-797-8551

Chris Waldrop is director of the Food Policy Institute at Consumer Federation of America. CFA is an association of nearly 280 nonprofit consumer organizations that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy and education.