The Canadian Pork Council has welcomed the government of Canada’s announcement to proceed with a World Trade Organization dispute settlement panel regarding the United States’ Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling Legislation (US COOL).
The Canadian pork industry enjoys a solid world-wide reputation for superior quality and animal health status and Canadian producers are alarmed that the US- COOL legislation has seriously harmed the US export market for Canadian pigs and pork. The US COOL legislation has caused many US pork processing companies to cease altogether the purchase of animals that are born in Canada.
“Country of Origin Labelling has been a major factor why many Canadian producers are having to exit the hog industry and has cost the pork industry many millions of dollars” stated Mr. Preugschas, who operates a hog and grain enterprise in Mayerthorpe Alberta.
“The announcement is a welcome signal that our government understands the impact COOL is having on our producers and that they will continue to work with the livestock sector to defend our WTO trade rights.
Meanwhile the US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk today issued a statement regarding the request:
“We regret that formal consultations have not been successful in resolving Canada’s concerns over country of origin labeling (COOL) required by the 2008 Farm Bill for certain agricultural products.
“We believe that our implementation of COOL provides information to consumers in a manner consistent with our World Trade Organization commitments.
“Countries have agreed since long before the existence of the WTO that country of origin labeling is a legitimate policy. It is common for other countries to require that goods be labeled as to their origin.
“We hope to continue to work with Canada to resolve this issue amicably.”