Congress Passes Bill Repealing Country-Of-Origin Meat Labeling Rule


by Amanda Froelich at


The spending bill Congress passed last Friday repealed the country-of-origin labeling (COOL) regulation that lets consumers know where their meat comes from.
It’s every consumer for him/herself, apparently. On Friday, Congress passed a spending bill repealing the country-of-origin (COOL) regulation which lets consumers know where the meat they’re purchasing is sourced from.

The decision follows a ruling from the World Trade Organization (WTO) that determines labels to “discriminate against meat raised and slaughtered outside of United States,” reports Take Part.

The Wall Street Journal reveals that the WTO permitted Mexico and Canada to impose more than $1 billion in tariffs on U.S. goods in retaliation if the labels were not pulled from packages of beef and pork. The two countries are the U.S.’s top agriculture partners.

Lawmakers were concerned, therefore, buckled under the pressure and repealed COOL. President Barack Obama added his signature to the bill as well.

For years, meat packers and members of Congress have fought to repeal the law – even though country-of-origin labels appear on many foods, such as peanuts, fish, and apples.

Said Mark Dopp, a general counsel for the North American Meat Institute, a group that represents livestock producers and meat packers such as Tyson Foods Inc.:

“Our attitude was we were going to use every available mechanism to get a bad idea, and a bad law, repealed. While we couldn’t initiate WTO litigation, we were glad that the Mexican and Canadian governments did.”

With COOL repealed, meat lovers will soon be hard-pressed to figure out whether the animals on their dinner plates were shipped halfway around the world or were raised and slaughtered in the United States.

Roger Johnson, presidents of the National Farmers Union, a Washington, D.C.-based organization, likely summarized it for most when he said:

“This is a rotten way to do legislation, by attaching these barnacles on the omnibus bills in the dark of the night.” 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (SDA) will continue to inspect all meat before it reaches grocery store shelves, but food labeling advocates compare eliminating nation-of-origin labeling with removing ingredient labels – and American consumers want that information.

In fact, a 2013 survey found that 90 percent of Americans supported country-of-origin information on their meat products.

If you don’t know where your meat is being sourced from, you’re likely better off nixing it from you diet completely – or, at least, seeking out a local, grass-fed butcher.

What are your thoughts? Comment below and share this news!

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  1. If your taste buds are good you can usually tell since the meat that’s shipped usually has to be packaged and frozen in a particular way to preserve their taste and edibility. This unfortunately does impact their taste however light it may be. You may not be able to pinpoint exactly which country but you’d be able to tell if it were fresh from 2 hrs ago or fresh package from 2 days ago. I would say the vast majority wont be able to tell but the most discerning individuals certainly can.

  2. I have a right to discriminate where my food comes from and I have a right to support US made anything. What sucks is that my underwear has to say “made in China” but now my fish does not have to? This shows the government doesn’t care about it’s own people.

    What we need is mandatory 3rd party inspections of all food plants in or out of US and mandatory 3rd party inspections of all imported lots. This should be paid at the reporter’s expense.

  3. My Question is… What is Congress trying to cover up or sneak in that they don’t want us to know about ? Why buy anything that you don’t know where it was grown or produced or raised ?


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