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R-CALF Not Happy With WTO

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Excerpts from a press release issued by the U.S. Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund (R-CALF) following the announcement of a WTO panel upholding a Canadian complaint on the U.S. country-of-origin labelling (COOL) legislation

Today, a panel of three foreign diplomats seated by the United Nation s World Trade Organization (WTO) issued a decision regarding complaints filed against the United States country-of-origin labelling (COOL) law that informs U.S. consumers as to the origins of their food.

The panel consists of a diplomat from Pakistan the country that harboured the world s most dangerous terrorist, Osama Bin Laden; a diplomat from Switzerland; and, a diplomat who is a former WTO employee.

The complaint against the United States COOL law was filed with the WTO in 2008 by livestock importers Canada, which introduced mad cow disease into the U.S., and Mexico, which continually reintroduces bovine tuberculosis (TB) into the United States. Joining the complaint as third parties were 12 additional countries, including China, which has a long history of importing tainted products into the United States.

Today s news from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and the WTO is consistent with rumours leaked in May, said R-CALF USA COOL committee chair Mike Schultz adding, We re not surprised that a panel of countries that want to weaken the U.S. would support complaints by countries that want more control over our U.S. food supply. The WTO is trying to usurp our nation s sovereignty.

According to the WTO, the panel found U.S. COOL is inconsistent with the United States WTO obligations and does not fulfil its legitimate objective of providing consumers with information on origin.

Since when do we allow an international tribunal to dictate to our U.S. Congress what is or is not a legitimate objective of providing information to United States citizens? Schultz asked rhetorically.

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