NFU Applauds USTR Decision to Appeal WTO Ruling on COOL
WASHINGTON (March 23, 2012) — National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson expressed NFU’s support of the decision by U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Ron Kirk to appeal the ruling of the World Trade Organization (WTO) against the United States’ implementation of the country-of-origin labeling (COOL) law.
“NFU has been an ardent proponent for COOL from its inception,” said Johnson. “We will refuse to accept the WTO’s recent decision without a vigorous fight and are pleased the USTR has taken the same stance.”
NFU delegates recently passed a special order of business regarding COOL at the organization’s convention. The order encouraged resolving the dispute while preserving the country-of-origin labeling law. It stated that the USTR must appeal the WTO decision because it is a frontal assault on U.S. sovereignty, the transparency and integrity of our domestic markets, adversely impacts U.S. food consumers by denying them the information they need to make informed buying decisions, denies U.S. farmers and ranchers the opportunity to differentiate their high quality food products in their own U.S. marketplace, and will compound the problems of a negative balance of trade deficit.
“U.S. family farmers and ranchers work each day to provide a safe, abundant food supply to our country and the world,” said Johnson. “Not only are we proud of what we do, but consumers have made it clear they want to know where their food comes from. We should not deny them that right.”
The labeling law was passed as a part of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 and amended in 2008. COOL requires retailers to notify their customers of the source of certain foods. Canada and Mexico filed a complaint against the United States’ law, which led to the recent ruling.
Editor's Note: This release is from the National Farmers Union.