The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia published a ruling yesterday that scored a big win for going forward with allowing Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) on products according to Food Safety News. COOL requires that the information for where the product is born, raised and slaughtered/processed be placed on the label.
We celebrate the ruling. We believe COOL will allow the consumer to make informed decisions about where their food comes from and who grows it. This transparency and information is provided by the COOL labels. We believe this is a win for the consumer who wants to know this information and for the producer who is proud to supply it.
Read more in a previous blog “Do you really want to know where your meat comes from?”
COOL is fought so heavily by Big Ag in efforts to keep the American consumer un-informed.
So proud are we at Rain Crow Ranch that we have had COOL on our labels from the beginning. In fact, as a way to make it as transparent as possible some of our labels even bear a picture of the family. You know exactly who is producing your food and where.
During the public comment period in 2013, widespread support of the proposed rule (COOL) generated over 35,000 comments from consumers and farmers in support. Read more on our blog.
“We believe the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the American Meat Institute should honor this important court decision and cease their incessant attacks on our nation’s COOL law in their efforts to hide the true origins of meat from U.S. consumers,” said R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard. “COOL is needed so U.S. livestock producers can offer consumers a choice to buy USA beef that is produced by U.S. farmers and ranchers.”
COOL actually went into effect last year amidst complaints and litigation from Big Ag such as Tyson, National Cattlemen’s Association and the American Meat Institute. These groups went to court to try and block the rule. The court denied the injunction against cool because it was felt that the meatpacking industry case was “unlikely to succeed on the merits of its claims.” These big Ag groups complain that it will cause a costly burden to the industry with little benefit to consumers.
Objections to COOL have also been raised by Canada and Mexico in the World Trade Organization claiming that the label would cause a barrier to trade and allow the American farmer and rancher an unfair advantage.
I am sure the story is not yet over as Big Ag contemplates its next move to thwart this labeling issue. However, we can still rejoice today that the court decided in favor of consumers and American producers.