Posted June 12, 2015

The House of Representatives has voted to repeal country-of-origin labeling (COOL) for beef, pork, and chicken, according to a Food Safety News article available here. Meating Place also published an article available hereand Feedstuffs here.
Texas Republican Rep. Michael Conaway’s Country of Origin Labeling Amendments Act of 2015 passed Wednesday by a 300-131 vote.
Conaway introduced the bill on May 18, which was the same day the World Trade Organization rejected a U.S. appeal of its decision that COOL unfairly discriminates against meat imports and gives the advantage to domestic meat products.
The 2002 and 2008 farm bills mandated Country of origin labeling (COOL), and meat processors have been lobbying for the law to be changed ever since. Consumer protection activists and livestock producers have lobbied just as hard to keep the law in place, according to Meating Place.
In response to the House vote, the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) issued a statement calling it “an essential first step.”
“Chairman Conaway and Representative Costa have shown incredible leadership in encouraging the U.S. live up to its obligations and abide by World Trade Organization rules,” NAMI President and CEO Barry Carpenter said in the statement. “It’s an issue of marketing, and that should be decided in the marketplace. We hope the Senate will move quickly to vote for repeal so the President can sign the bill and put this failed experiment behind us.”
COOL supporters urged the Senate to quickly vote. Peterson said in his closing comments on the House floor that “we feel repeal is not where we’re going to end up or where we should end up.” He said as it heads over to the Senate he hopes there’s a way to work through the ruling without needing retaliation, according to Feedstuffs.
Roberts added, “We can sit here and let this happen. Or we can move. Let’s get a move on.”
For more information on Country of Origin Labeling, please visit the National Agricultural Law Center’s website here.