News Release: Global WTO Tribunal Overrules Congress on Food Labeling, $1 Billion Sanctions

December 07, 2015


December 7, 2015
Contact: Paola Masman
202 688 5145, paola@prosperousamerica.org

Global WTO Tribunal Overrules Congress on Food Labeling, $1 Billion Sanctions

Washington, D.C.- Today, a World Trade Organization (WTO) tribunal authorized over $1 billion in sanctions against the U.S., in retaliation for the congressionally passed Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) law being “incompliant with WTO standards.”

COOL law requires detailed labeling where the livestock was born, raised and slaughtered. This announcement is the final step in a WTO dispute brought by Mexico and Canada that has been ongoing for over seven years. The WTO has repeatedly - but wrongly - ruled that America’s COOL law discriminates against imported livestock in violation of our trade agreements with Canada and Mexico.

“COOL was passed by Congress in 2002 and is supported by nine out of ten Americans,” said Michael Stumo, CEO of the Coalition for a Prosperous America. “Our founding fathers gave the authority to pass laws such as COOL to the US Congress, not world government courts. Congress should focus upon taking back its power rather than acceding to transferring that power to global courts.”

Consumers across the U.S. rely on these labels to inform them of their food and allow them to make informed decisions regarding their meat. Congress is now likely to take that information away from them.

CPA affiliate R-CALF USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund) also criticized the amount of the sanctions, saying:  The WTO decision is utterly absurd. The entire value of Canada's live cattle imports in 2014 was $1.753 billion and this represented an historical high. It is absolutely impossible that Canada could be suffering an annual loss representing 45 percent of Canada's record high imports.

The COOL sanctions decision underlines the importance of stopping the Trans-Pacific Partnership which will subject US and state laws to more global tribunal oversight.

The Coalition for a Prosperous America is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization representing the interests of over three million households through our agricultural, manufacturing and labor organization members.

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  • If the WTO can challenge COOL laws, they can challenge virtually ANY law or regulation of anything whatsoever. The sovereignty and democracy of all countries stupid enough to submit to WTO meddling is threatened.
  • Regarding labeling:
    I read on all the products I buy what it contains, because it is my health I’m concerned about.
    If it is not spelled out from where things are from and what is in them exactly I will not buy it, this not just for food products.
    About the WTO
    What nerve that they are trying to fine us for having a label on products telling what is in it and from where it is coming from, for the products I like to buy.
    What about all the countries doing the currency manipulation, having tariffs on US export to other countries, selling Products to us with all kinds of poisonous ingredients and contaminants, having all kinds of regulations and restrictions to make it difficult for us to export to other countries, stealing our Patents and Technology.
    China and many other countries are having pollution to no end, unsafe working places, are exploiting their people.
    Governments from the Pacific Rim Countries are dumping the results in to our Country already and now our President want’s to make it more easy to do so.
    People in the US:
    Wake up! Don’t accept this!
    Don’t buy products that are not properly labeled. If our Government has not the guts to stand up for us People in the USA or don’t know what to do, then we the People must control this.
    Don’t buy unlabeled products, tell the store Manager you will not buy these products, that are not letting me know what is in them and from where it is coming from.
    I say enough is enough.
    I don’t hear the WTO fine countries that are doing all of the above exploiting us, the USA.
    I say if a Country wants to import to us, than let them respect our way what we like to buy, and we will happy do all the business with them.
    This is my point of view
    Helmut Mueller