NCBA disagrees with US decision to appeal labelling ruling

27th March 2012 - Fine Cut

The National Cattleman's Beef Association (NCBA) has publicly criticised the US government for appealing Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) instructions.

According to ThePigSite, the US is challenging a World Trade Organization (WTO) decision from last year saying that its COOL system violates WTO agreements, but a NCBA representative has said an appeal was the wrong way to resolve the issue.

Bob McCann, vice-president of the NCBA, said: "An appeal is the wrong answer and a waste of valuable resources. This appeal will do nothing but escalate tension with our valuable trade partners and will prolong an issue that could be resolved quickly."

The COOL system requires meat and fish products to feature information on labels about where the item has come from originally. In the UK, it is an offence to mis-represent where food has come from.

Reuters noted that the US COOL guidelines came into effect in 2008, leading to a "sharp drop" in the number of cattle and hog imports into the US. The legislation that mandated the rules was the 2002 Farm Bill.

The case against the US's current system was brought by Mexico and Canada. Mr McCann claimed the appeal will jeopardise the US's relationship with the two nations, which are the two biggest importers of US beef.

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