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Groups Jockey for Position Ahead of Final WTO Decision on COOL

As the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) final decision regarding country of origin labeling (COOL) looms, industry is asking Congress to prepare for a judgment against the U.S.

“With little potential for quick Congressional action after a WTO final adjudication, we request that Congress authorize and direct the Secretary of Agriculture to suspend indefinitely the revised COOL rule for muscle cuts of meat upon a final adjudication of non-compliance with WTO obligations,” states the letter from dozens of companies and industry organizations to the chairs and ranking members of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry and the House Committee on Agriculture.

COOL requires that meat be labeled with the specific country where the animal was born, raised and slaughtered, and the governments of Canada and Mexico have argued that the rule is out of compliance with WTO’s Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade.

The meat industry is concerned that the rule is a source of added production costs, and that retaliatory tariffs from Canada and Mexico would hurt a broad spectrum of industries.

According to POLITICO, WTO has issued a confidential interim decision that gives the sides time to comment before the final decision is made public in a few weeks.

“We have received the interim report, but detailed review is necessary before commenting further,” a USDA official reportedly told POLITICO Pro on Friday.

The National Farmers Union took a different view than the industry groups of what the agency should do.

“Urging Congress to repeal COOL laws before the WTO report is issued is just another desperate attempt to prevent consumers from having access to basic information about their food,” Roger Johnson, NFU president, said in a statement.

During a House budget hearing in April, Edward Avalos, the Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said that the agency is “confident” that changes to the rule which took effect last year will put the U.S. in compliance with WTO. When pushed on the issue, he said that the agency would address the decision when it’s made.

© Food Safety News
  • John Munsell

    Let’s dismiss all the hoopla surrounding this issue, and admit that the bottom line is that the food industry desires to blend domestically produced food with food accessed globally, with no distinction. The food industry desires the freedom to create a global undifferentiated soup of ingredients from all origins, regardless of food safety inadequacies, environmental concerns, or labor exploitation inherent in some of these sources. I desire to avoid all products from China, as an example. But, since America now bows at the feet of WTO, to whom we ascribe ultimate knowledge and authority (we have acquiesced our sovereignty), global citizens are being denied basic facts which would enable us to pick and choose products from countries which we perceive have laudable food production practices. WTO & transnational companies tell us that there’s no need to know if food originates from Timbuktu, Kalamazoo, or Putin’s garage. We are being told that there’s no need to buy local, or buy national. Instead, loyal global citizens are being told to “Buy Global”, the price we pay to homogenize global ingredients and create an unfettered, seamless global trade system. We are sliding down a slippery slope, one which I’m convinced is not good for public health. John Munsell

  • http://transmissiblespongiformencephalopathy.blogspot.com/ Terry S. Singeltary Sr.

    with COOL, Country’s and the consumers there from, might find out ;
    Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy TSE Prion Disease North America
    2014

    Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy TSE Prion Disease have now been
    discovered in a wide verity of species across North America. typical C-BSE,
    atypical L-type BASE BSE, atypical H-type BSE, atypical H-G BSE, of the bovine,
    typical and atypical Scrapie strains, in sheep and goats, with atypical Nor-98
    Scrapie spreading coast to coast in about 5 years. Chronic Wasting Disease CWD
    in cervid is slowly spreading without any stopping it in Canada and the USA and
    now has mutated into many different strains. Transmissible Mink Encephalopathy
    TME outbreaks. These Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy TSE Prion Disease
    have been silently mutating and spreading in different species in North America
    for decades.

    The USDA, FDA, et al have assured us of a robust Triple BSE TSE prion
    Firewall, of which we now know without a doubt, that it was nothing but ink on
    paper. Since the 1997 mad cow feed ban in the USA, literally tons and tons of
    banned mad cow feed has been put out into commerce, never to return, as late as
    December of 2013, serious, serious breaches in the FDA mad cow feed ban have
    been documented. The 2004 enhanced BSE surveillance program was so flawed, that
    one of the top TSE prion Scientist for the CDC, Dr. Paul Brown stated ; Brown,
    who is preparing a scientific paper based on the latest two mad cow cases to
    estimate the maximum number of infected cows that occurred in the United States,
    said he has “absolutely no confidence in USDA tests before one year ago” because
    of the agency’s reluctance to retest the Texas cow that initially tested
    positive. see ; http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2006/03/15/Analysis-What-that-mad-cow-means/UPI-12841142465253/

    The BSE surveillance and testing have also been proven to be flawed, and
    the GAO and OIG have both raised serious question as to just how flawed it has
    been (see GAO and OIG reports). North America has more documented TSE prion
    disease, in different documented species (excluding the Zoo BSE animals in the
    EU), then any other place on the Globe. This does not include the very
    likelihood that TSE prion disease in the domestic feline and canine have been
    exposed to high doses of the TSE prion disease vid pet food. To date, it’s still
    legal to include deer from cwd zone into pet food or deer food. Specified Risk
    Material i.e. SRM bans still being breach, as recently as just last month.

    nvCJD or what they now call vCJD, another case documented in Texas last
    month, with very little information being released to the public on about this
    case? with still the same line of thought from federal officials, ‘it can’t
    happen here’, so another vCJD blamed on travel of a foreign animal disease from
    another country, while ignoring all the BSE TSE Prion risk factors we have here
    in the USA and Canada, and the time that this victim and others, do spend in the
    USA, and exposed to these risk factors, apparently do not count in any way with
    regard to risk factor. a flawed process of risk assessment.

    sporadic CJD, along with new TSE prion disease in humans, of which the
    young are dying, of which long duration of illness from onset of symptoms to
    death have been documented, only to have a new name added to the pot of prion
    disease i.e. sporadic GSS, sporadic FFI, and or VPSPR. I only ponder how a
    familial type disease could be sporadic with no genetic link to any family
    member? when the USA is the only documented Country in the world to have
    documented two different cases of atypical H-type BSE, with one case being
    called atypical H-G BSE with the G meaning Genetic, with new science now showing
    that indeed atypical H-type BSE is very possible transmitted to cattle via oral
    transmission (Prion2014). sporadic CJD and VPSPR have been rising in Canada,
    USA, and the UK, with the same old excuse, better surveillance. You can only use
    that excuse for so many years, for so many decades, until one must conclude that
    CJD TSE prion cases are rising. a 48% incease in CJD in Canada is not just a
    blip or a reason of better surveillance, it is a mathematical rise in numbers.
    More and more we are seeing more humans exposed in various circumstance in the
    Hospital, Medical, Surgical arenas to the TSE Prion disease, and at the same
    time in North America, more and more humans are becoming exposed to the TSE
    prion disease via consumption of the TSE prion via deer and elk, cattle, sheep
    and goats, and for those that are exposed via or consumption, go on to further
    expose many others via the iatrogenic modes of transmission of the TSE prion
    disease i.e. friendly fire. I pondered this mode of transmission via the victims
    of sporadic FFI, sporadic GSS, could this be a iatrogenic event from someone
    sub-clinical with sFFI or sGSS ? what if?

    Two decades have passed since Dr. Ironside first confirmed his first ten
    nvCJD victims in 1995. Ten years later, 2005, we had Dr. Gambetti and his first
    ten i.e. VPSPR in younger victims. now we know that indeed VPSPR is
    transmissible. yet all these TSE prion disease and victims in the USA and Canada
    are being pawned off as a spontaneous event, yet science has shown, the
    spontaneous theory has never been proven in any natural case of TSE prion
    disease, and scientist have warned, that they have now linked some sporadic CJD
    cases to atypical BSE, to atypical Scrapie, and to CWD, yet we don’t here about
    this in the public domain. We must make all human and animal TSE prion disease
    reportable in every age group, in ever state and internationally, we must have a
    serious re-evaluation and testing of the USA cattle herds, and we must ban
    interstate movement of all cervids. Any voluntary effort to do any of this will
    fail. Folks, we have let the industry run science far too long with regards to
    the TSE prion disease. While the industry and their lobbyist continues to funnel
    junk science to our decision policy makers, Rome burns. …end

    REFERENCES

    [all scientific peer review studies and other scientific information I have
    put into blogs, to shorten reference data. I DO NOT advertise or make money from
    this, this information is for education use...lost my mom to the hvCJD, and just
    made a promise, never forget, and never let them forget. ...TSS]

    Sunday, June 29, 2014

    Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy TSE Prion Disease North America
    2014

    http://transmissiblespongiformencephalopathy.blogspot.com/2014/06/transmissible-spongiform-encephalopathy.html

    Monday, June 23, 2014

    *** PRION 2014 CONFERENCE CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE CWD

    http://chronic-wasting-disease.blogspot.com/2014/06/prion-2014-chronic-wasting-disease-cwd.html

    Monday, June 23, 2014

    PRION 2014 CONFERENCE TYPICAL AND ATYPICAL BSE AND CJD REPORT UPDATES

    http://transmissiblespongiformencephalopathy.blogspot.com/2014/06/prion-2014-typical-and-atypical-bse-and.html

    • John Munsell

      yes, our government piously proclaims that it utilizes “SCIENCE” in all its decisions (as though the rest of us oppose science), and uses “ROBUST” testing protocol. It also proclaims “AN ABUNDANCE OF CAUTION” in all its decisions. Nothing but sugar coasted words, designed to lull us to sleep. And when we attempt FOIA’s, all adverse evidence is summarily redacted. Yup, “For the people, by the people, etc” is an oxymoron. Sadly, the global blitzkrieg is rolling, and we’re not going to deter it. John Munsell