Colorado’s COOL Efforts Shot Down: Country of Origin Labeling
Mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL) rules for beef products have long been the subject of controversy and challenge, culminating in: (1) a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling that the COOL requirements violate U.S. trade obligations to Canada and Mexico and (2) Congress repealing COOL as of December 21, 2015. As also covered on this blog, several states have since attempted to require retail meat products to bear a country-of-origin label. Last week, the Colorado General Assembly’s House Agriculture, Livestock & Natural Resources Committee sought to make a push for the reinstatement of COOL.
On April 5, 2017, however, the state-level COOL measure was defeated, largely along party lines.
As states continue their attempts to reinstate COOL at the behest of livestock producers, the Rancher’s Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF USA) (a national non-profit organization representing U.S. cattle and sheep producers) is seeking the reinstatement of COOL at the federal level through President Trump’s North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations. Media reports indicate that COOL is, in fact, slated to be a key element of the Trump administration’s NAFTA renegotiation of a model trade agreement. Nevertheless, the meat retail industry’s aversion to COOL may sound the death knell for the advancement and implementation of such requirements.