On June 10, 2015, the United States House of Representatives passed proposed House Bill 2393, which repeals Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) requirements as applied to muscle cut meat commodities: beef, pork, and chicken. The amendment to COOL passed through a yea/nay vote of 300-131. The Bill still needs to be presented and voted on in the Senate.
According to the House Committee on Agriculture website, supporters of the repeal believe it’s a necessary step in order to bring the United States into compliance with the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling. The Bill also ensures avoidance of retaliatory sanctions, such as tariffs, from two of the U.S.’s top trading partners, Canada and Mexico.
Although chicken was not included in the WTO ruling, which was aimed at beef and pork labeling, Chairman Michael Conaway (R-TX) stated, “We also eliminate the requirement for chicken, which faced high costs and little if any quantifiable benefits ... [n]o other products are affected.” All other products, such as fruits, vegetables, and peanuts, would continue to adhere to COOL requirements.
Written by Katharine Richter- Research Assistant
June 12, 2015