On Friday, the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled that the law requiring labeling the origin of meat imposed by the United States, known by its English acronym of COOL, which affects veal and pork, is a barrier to international trade, as it is more restrictive than necessary to achieve the objective of providing accurate information to consumers in the U.S. about the origin of the products.
The panel acknowledged that the COOL provisions are discriminatory and contrary to national treatment obligations, since they generate unfavorable conditions of competition for Mexican and Canadian exporters.
In the case of meat products, COOL provides that only beef and pork obtained from cattle born, reared and slaughtered in the United States can be considered as originating from that country and able to carry the label.
Mexico and Canada began the controversy in December 2009 and Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, European Union, Guatemala, India, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Peru and Chinese Taipei have joined the case as third parties.
As a result of this decision, the U.S. government will have to eliminate or modify the COOL measure so as not affect the commercial interests of third party countries.
Friday November 18, 2011.
Presidencia de la República/ Mexico. http://www.presidencia.gob.mx/
Government of Canada/Canada. http://news.gc.ca/