Two States Move to Require COOL Labeling for Beef: Country of Origin
Mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL) rules for beef products have long been the subject of controversy and challenge, culminating in a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling that the COOL requirements violate U.S. trade obligations to Canada and Mexico, and Congress repealing COOL as of December 21, 2015.
On February 3, 2017, a majority of House Agriculture Committee members in Wyoming voted in favor of sending a bill to the full House of Representatives that would require retail beef products sold in the state to bear a country-of-origin label. This comes on the heels of a similar bill that was introduced in South Dakota.
In the past, the meat processing industry has opposed mandatory federal country-of-origin labeling. It remains to be seen whether either state bill will advance, and whether other states will follow suit.