Country-of-Origin (COOL) Meat Labeling Decision
"When a popular, commonsense law like COOL is declared trade illegal by an anonymous tribunal of the World Trade Organization, you have to wonder what U.S. law is next.
Today's WTO ruling on COOL aims to prevent American consumers from knowing where their meat was born, raised and processed. This is a sad day for consumer choice and the independent livestock producers of this country. As one neighbor put it: 'This is fraud, what do the meat packers have to hide?'
"When trade agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the WTO undermine U.S. laws like COOL, it becomes very clear how the rights of citizens to govern themselves have been traded away. This WTO ruling shows the degree to which international corporations now control our economy and political process through undemocratic non-transparent trade agreements.
"If Congress 'fast tracks' the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal that is currently in negotiation, we will see even more actions by trans-national corporations to use the WTO to overturn democratically enacted laws like COOL."
( From Grass Range, Montana, rancher Gilles Stockton statement on behalf of the Western Organization of Resource Councils. Stockton also serves on the USDA Secretary of Agriculture's Animal Health Advisory Committee - May 18, 2015.)