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Sun Oct 26, 2014, 09:02 PM

WTO Says U.S. Consumers Don’t Need to Know Where Meat Comes From

American consumers should not have to put up with this

http://www.nationofchange.org/2014/10/26/wto-says-u-s-consumers-dont-need-know-meat-comes/

This week, the World Trade Organization (WTO) finally issued a decision in the challenge made by Mexico and Canada to the U.S.’s country-of-origin (COOL) labeling rules for meat. And environmental and food safety groups are hopping mad, as WTO upheld the contention made by those countries, supported by multi0national meat packers, that the rules unfairly impede global trade.

“The meatpacking lobby has lost the COOL debate from the court of public opinion to the Court of Appeals to the halls of Congress so they are taking their complaint to the faceless unelected bureaucrats in Geneva,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch. “When the meat cannot get its way here in America, it is trying to use the WTO to overturn the will of the American people.”

The current U.S. rules, which went into effect in 2013, require that meat sold in groceries be labeled to show separately where the animal was born, raised and slaughtered. The WTO’s ruling agrees that those regulations unfairly discriminate against imported meat to give an unfair edge to domestic products. In the ongoing dispute, then-Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack suggested last November that WTO should resolve the dispute and that the U.S. would abide by what the WTO decided.

Meat packers insists that the labeling rules have cost them profits, and the Canadian government threatened to put a tariff on U.S. meats and other food products imported from the U.S. The North American Meat Association and the American Meat Institute hailed the decision. But Food & Water Watch said that consumers deserved to know where their meat came from.

“People have the right to know where the food they feed their families comes from,” said Hauter. “It is nonsensical that a label that lets consumers know the origin of their food is a trade barrier.”


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Arrow 18 replies Author Time Post
Reply WTO Says U.S. Consumers Don’t Need to Know Where Meat Comes From (Original post)
eridani Oct 2014 OP
Xipe Totec Oct 2014 #1
eridani Oct 2014 #7
Xipe Totec Oct 2014 #9
Wellstone ruled Oct 2014 #2
NYC_SKP Oct 2014 #4
NYC_SKP Oct 2014 #3
TheKentuckian Oct 2014 #5
eridani Oct 2014 #14
L0oniX Oct 2014 #6
AtomicKitten Oct 2014 #10
bemildred Oct 2014 #8
RebelOne Oct 2014 #11
djean111 Oct 2014 #12
Marblehead Oct 2014 #13
X_Digger Oct 2014 #15
markpkessinger Oct 2014 #16
markpkessinger Oct 2014 #17
NYC_SKP Oct 2014 #18

Response to eridani (Original post)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 09:11 PM

1. Can the same rule be applied to wine and cheese?

That would be an interesting battle. You could no longer discriminate against California wines in France or Italy based on origin.

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Response to Xipe Totec (Reply #1)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 09:51 PM

7. Why shouldn't people prefer local?

I favor WA State wines, and wines from Oregon and California second.

One fond memory of biking in the Czech Republic with my husband in 2000 is the fresh kegs of pils-style beers at local bars. Each bar specializes in beers from one manufacturer. Upon returning home, we found that the imported bottled stuff was nowhere near as good as what we had while travelling. IMO, every place should have local flavors. Why else would you bother travelling at all?

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Response to eridani (Reply #7)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 10:22 PM

9. I only wish to point out that the WTO decision could have unintended consequences. nt

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 09:30 PM

2. Wow! What the hell,ever been in

some of these so called offshore packing houses? It ain't pretty. Talk about a garbage pit and that is putting it mildly. If our meat isn't Inspected by our inspectors we will not touch it. So far Costco has the stiffest enforcement of packing house regs. And thy know were there product is coming from. Their meat products are marked as to origin and the workers will tell you folks won't touch it. The more we consumers bitch the more the more responsible the retailers become. They will make damn sure made in U.S. products are available.

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Response to Wellstone ruled (Reply #2)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 09:40 PM

4. US standards: Up to 49.9% of ground turkey in a sample can test positive for Salmonella, no problem.

 

Imagine how bad Chinese meat might be.

“The current USDA ground turkey standard, which allows 49.9 percent of samples in a test run to be positive for Salmonella is unacceptable and clearly ineffective as a tool for food safety,” said Jean Halloran, Director of Food Policy Initiatives at Consumers Union

https://consumersunion.org/news/cu-calls-on-usda-to-tighten-salmonella-standard/

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 09:36 PM

3. Kick! (nt)

 

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 09:44 PM

5. Of course not. They don't think we have a right to even know what our food is much less where it

comes from.

You'll eat your spiderpigapple harvest/born/grown in Laos and like it.

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Response to TheKentuckian (Reply #5)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 11:43 PM

14. Abolition of the local is precisely the point of TPP n/t

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 09:46 PM

6. Mystery meat ...it's what's for dinner.

 

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #6)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 10:28 PM

10. !!

 

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 09:58 PM

8. US consumers don't need to buy their shitty meat either. nt

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 10:31 PM

11. I know where my meat comes from. That's why I am a vegetarian. n/t

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 11:03 PM

12. This is why the TPP is coming, and other trade agreements are being modified.

 

The investor states will trump all sovereign laws, regulations, whatever.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 11:07 PM

13. what a load of bull

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 11:54 PM

15. Where's our resident TPP cheerleader to tell us that this is great? n/t

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Mon Oct 27, 2014, 12:01 AM

16. If any consumer wishes to favor the products of his or her own, or any other, country . . .

. . . why should that consumer not be free to do so?

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Mon Oct 27, 2014, 12:10 AM

17. And why on Earth would the Obama administration, through Vilsack . . .

. . . defer to the WTO on such a matter?

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Mon Oct 27, 2014, 01:03 AM

18. The Hill article suggests that the administration supports Country Of Origin Labeling.

 

I had to do a little reading but:

So far, this dynamic has made COOL very popular in Washington. The reality of politics is that the most popular policies are those in which the benefits go to a small well-organized group of people while the costs are spread thin to many.

The Obama administration in particular is keen on furthering the interests of COOL supporters and has gone out of its way to make the rules as onerous as possible on importers of foreign cattle.

http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/economy-budget/221589-consumers-win-as-wto-condemns-protectionist-meat-labels

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