The National Grocers Association releases statement on passage of Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) Legislation

Arlington, VA, 2015-6-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Grocers Association (NGA) released the following statement from NGA President and CEO Peter J. Larkin commending passage by the House of H.R. 2393, the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) Amendments Act of 2015, sponsored by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway (R-TX).

In 2002, mandatory COOL rules for meat products were enacted as a part of the Farm Bill and amended in subsequent bills passed in 2008 and 2014. Following the passage of the 2008 Farm Bill, Canada and Mexico initiated World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement proceedings against the U.S., claiming that COOL discriminated against their livestock exports. In May of this year, the WTO issued its final decision stating that the United States’ mandatory COOL requirements for meat products are discriminatory to Canada and Mexico.

Larkin commented, “NGA has long expressed concerns over the mandatory COOL requirements. Aside from impacting supermarket operators’ bottom line, should the U.S. remain non-compliant with the WTO’s rules, it will cause market and supply dislocations, adversely affect jobs, business operations, and international trade. We commend the U.S. House of Representatives for passing this important legislation to bring the U.S. back into compliance with our international trade obligations and provide regulatory relief to those who produce and sell beef, pork, and chicken.”

NGA sent a letter to the House of Representatives urging passage of H.R. 2393. The letter reads: “Independent supermarkets are known for their full service meat departments that have on premise butchers providing value, variety, and exceptional service to our customers. Mandatory COOL labeling has imposed significant disproportionate costs on retailers, wholesalers, processors, and suppliers, all to provide a label that is ultimately of very little value to the consumer.”

NGA’s full letter can be read HERE.

Additionally, NGA is a member of the COOL Reform Coalition, which sent a letter to the House of Representatives yesterday, expressing strong support for H.R. 2393. To read that letter, click HERE.

If you need additional information, please contact Laura Strange at 703-516-8808.