R-Calf Sues WTO Over Country of Origin Labelling

US - R-CALF USA joins as a co-plaintiff with the Made in the USA Foundation to protect the right of all Americans to know the origins of their food. The groups filed a lawsuit that asks the federal district court in Denver, Colorado, to declare the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO’s) recent ruling against the US country of origin labelling law (COOL) to be contrary to US law and, therefore, null and void.
calendar icon 6 September 2012
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The group’s lawsuit names US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and US Trade Representative Ron Kirk as defendants and alleges that they failed their respective duties to protect and preserve US sovereignty by allowing the WTO to second-guess the US COOL law that was passed under the US Constitution.

The following statement may be attributed to R-CALF USA Region VI Director and COOL Committee Chair Mike Schultz: “R-CALF USA is proud to join as a co-plaintiff with the Made in the USA Foundation in our lawsuit to protect and preserve the right of all Americans to know the origins of their food. This was a right given to US citizens when Congress passed into law and the President signed the Country of Origin Labeling Act in 2002.

“For nearly eight years, the multinational meatpackers, the governments of Canada and Mexico, and even the US Department of Agriculture fought to prevent US citizens from knowing the origins of their food by vigorously opposing the implementation of the 2002 COOL law.

“But we cattle producers joined with consumers in that long battle and we finally prevailed. COOL went into effect in March of 1999. But, the governments of Canada and Mexico persisted and filed a complaint at the WTO, essentially asserting that US citizens do not need to know where their food, particularly their meat from livestock, was born, raised and slaughtered.

“As US citizens, we never gave up our right to continue governing ourselves under our US Constitution, and we certainly didn’t grant the WTO authority to undermine our domestic laws. This lawsuit is necessary to force this Administration to stand up and defend our US sovereignty by disavowing any authority the WTO claims over our nation’s ability to pass beneficial laws for US citizens.”

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