Canada-U.S. COOL Conflict Cooling

Yesterday Canadian Agriculture Minster Gerry Ritz chatted COOL at the North American Meat Association (NAMA) Outlook Conference in Chicago.

(BTBObserver has tracked the meat labeling dispute between Canada and the United States since January.  Get a sense of what U.S. COOL rules cost Canadian meat producers here, and more background on the issue from our June 2013 post here.)

The key takeaway:  the Canada-U.S. conflict over country of origin labeling, or COOL, rules seems to be cooling.  

From The Globe and Mail: 

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz says he has growing confidence the U.S. will back off on country-of-origin labelling regulations on beef and pork, but is prepared to retaliate if they don’t.

But he said there is now a unique opportunity to fix the legislation so it does not discriminate against imports from Canada and Mexico through the U.S. farm bill that is currently before U.S. Congress.

He notes that Canada has industry allies within the U.S., including the American Association of Meat Processors, along with other industry players, who have sought a court injunction in U.S. federal court against the implementation of the labelling requirements.

Ritz said 100 senators and congressmen have also signed on support the industry-led court action.

“That would have been unheard of a year ago,” he said in a conference call from Chicago. “So the ground has shifted, the tide has changed and we feel very confident we can move forward with this repeal of COOL through the farm bill.”


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