We are in the age of consumer’s right-to-know. And, as a farmer, I get that. Consumers want to know where their meat and other food comes from. Our government recently repealed the COOL (country of origin labeling) provision, which allows consumers to know where their meat was born, raised and harvested. First, why would congress pass a bill that repeals the right for consumers to know where their meat comes from? And, how do I know where my meat comes from?
Why and How?
No, there are no conspiracy theories. No, the provision was not secretly put into the bill. No, congress isn’t try to pull the wool over consumer’s eyes. No, this is not about Monsanto. It comes down to retaliation. Retaliation from two of our most important trading partners.
The reason COOL was repealed is because the U.S. is part of the WTO (world trade organization) and the countries of Canada and Mexico both felt the labeling requirement of pork and beef was discriminatory towards their countries. Why? Because when animals are transported into the U.S. for processing, the packing plants need to keep the animals segregated so they can label them appropriately. Both Canada and Mexico felt the additional cost of keeping the animals segregated was discriminatory towards them, resulting in an unfair competitive advantage for the U.S.
And the WTO agreed. Continue Reading