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Beef Buzz News


Ruling Against COOL Guarantees Contentious Law Will Be Reviewed by All Parties for Years to Come

Wed, 01 Jun 2011 4:26:49 CDT

Ruling Against COOL Guarantees Contentious Law Will Be Reviewed by All Parties for Years to Come Just before Memorial Day, word came out about a preliminary ruling that offers few details- except the bottom line that the World Trade Organization is likely to rule against the United States and in favor of Canada and Mexico over the US implementation of a Country of Origin labeling rule. Canada and Mexico originally filed a protest against the US COOL law in 2009. The actual ruling may be out as early as September and at that point, the United States will have the opportunity to either go through the long drawn out appeals process, which seldom is effective, or can accept the ruling and decide either to change the COOL law or pay annual penalties to the countries that have been wronged according to the WTO.


Already, the groups that were for and against the COOL law as it was written and implemented by the Bush Administration are either singing the praises of the WTO preliminary ruling or declaring this is the worst thing the United States has faced from the world trade body ever.


One of the groups that quickly issued a news release showing its support of the WTO ruling was the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. NCBA President Bill Donald says that COOL was a bad idea from the beginning and the preliminary WTO ruling on the original complaint filed by Canada and Mexico is proof.


“This ruling is unfortunate for the U.S. government but the consequences of a poor decision have been revealed. We fully support WTO’s preliminary ruling,” said Donald. “It is also very important to note that this ruling is very much preliminary and all of the details are not yet known.” Click here for the full statement from the NCBA.


At the other end of the spectrum, you have R-Calf USA. In a very dramatic writing style, R-Calf decries the WTO and this preliminary ruling. "While the nebulous powers of the United Nations (U.N.) and its various international subsidiaries like the World Trade Organization (WTO) are far removed from the day-to-day lives of most U.S. citizens, a wake-up call has just been delivered to every U.S. household." The News Release goes on to quote their CEO, Bill Bullard. "While we are tremendously disappointed in the decision, we believe it was necessary to prove to the American people just how dangerous it is for the United States to acquiesce to international tribunals such as the WTO,” said R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard. “U.S. citizens exercised their constitutional right to self-governance by urging Congress to pass a law that informs them of where their food is produced. Now we have an un-elected, foreign tribunal that is attempting to strike down our constitutionally passed law."


On today's Beef Buzz, we discuss this COOL ruling with Kansas State University livestock economist Glynn Tonsor. Dr. Tonsor offers his thoughts on the recent preliminary ruling by the World Trade Organization on U.S. country-of-origin labeling of meat and other food products, and what that means to the future of the COOL requirements. He and several other land grant economists have been working on research that is trying to answer the question of the value of the COOL law since it was put into place. One key statistic that Tonsor cites is the fact that only 30% of a national sample of consumers that were interviewed even know of the existence of the labeling on packages of meat at the retail meat case.


The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the state on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the listen bar below for today's show- and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.



   
   

Ron hays Beef Buzzes about the COOL WTO Ruling with Glynn Tonsor of K-State.
right-click to download mp3

 

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