Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Court dismisses COOL appeal

A court in Washington, D.C., has dismissed an attempt by Canadians, Mexicans and many in the U.S. pork industry to block the government’s Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) regulations.

That moves the focus back to the World Trade Organization where Canada is seeking another ruling that the regulations amount to an illegal trade barrier.

That was the ruling on the original U.S. regulations and since then the U.S. has amended them, but in the opinion of Canadians, has made them an even bigger impediment to fair trade.

The American Meat Institute and eight other industry organizations, including representative groups from Canada and Mexico, had asked for the court for an en banc review of an earlier appellate decision denying an injunction (i.e. barring implementation of the COOL regulations).

In a statement, AMI interim president and chief executive James H. Hodges said “the court’s decision today is disappointing. 

“We have maintained all along that the country of origin rule harms livestock producers and the industry and affords little benefit to consumers.

“This decision will perpetuate those harms.”

Hodges said “We will evaluate our options moving forward.”

Economic studies in Canada indicate the COOL regulations depress prices for Canadian hogs and have cost hog farmers more than $1 billion.