Friday, March 28, 2014

Court rejects COOL appeal

Meat packers and the Canadian Pork Council have lost their court appeal to block implementation of the new U.S. Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) regulations.

The three judges were unanimous, so the regulations are legal, as far as the courts are concerned.

While expressing disappointment with the decision, the Canadian Pork Council noted that it has two other irons in the fire.

One is continued lobbying of Washington politicians.

The other is an appeal to the World Trade Organization. A disputes-settling panel there has heard the lawyers’ presentations and is currently involved in reaching a decision.

The U.S. COOL regulations are estimated to be costing Canadian hog producers about a billion dollars per year and beef producers about $600,000 per year, mainly because U.S. packers won’t bid full price for Canadian livestock, so neither do Canadian packers have to match U.S. prices.