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Food Safety News

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WTO

Food safety reprieve: Ag secretary pauses plan to move Codex

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, for the moment, has backed off his controversial plan to transfer the U.S. Codex Office, which works on international food standards, from USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service to a new trade office in the department. In a letter to Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-KS, Perdue said there are two… Continue Reading

Country-of-origin labeling has no place in NAFTA 2.0

Opinion

In public policy, as in life, learning from past mistakes is a cardinal rule for success. That is why it was disappointing to see Thomas Gremillion from the Consumer Federation of America advocate for the reinstatement of mandatory country-of-origin labelling (MCOOL) for beef and pork in a recent guest opinion column on the Food Safety News website. Fore… Continue Reading

Americans have a right to know: Where’s the beef — from?

Opinion

This week marks the beginning of formal talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, an agreement President Donald Trump has called the “worst deal in history.” To make it a better deal, his Administration released a set of negotiating objectives last month, but they ignored the most outrageous example of how American consumers… Continue Reading

Ranchers look for some traction on country-of-origin labeling

As individual actions, they might not mean much. Collectively, they say Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) is not going away anytime soon. Two states known for their cowboys, Wyoming and South Dakota, have seen early introduction of COOL bills in their legislatures, respectively, in Cheyenne and Pierre. Cattlemen headquartered in neighboring Montana have not given up on… Continue Reading

Dairy industry seeks Trump’s help with Canada under NAFTA

U.S. dairy organizations and the state departments of agriculture across the country turned to President-elect Donald Trump Wednesday to combat Canada’s existing and soon-to-be-expanded protectionist policies designed to block imports from the United States. They say the policies are in direct violation of Canada’s trade commitments under the North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA) and the… Continue Reading

WTO Authorizes $1 Billion in Retaliatory Tariffs Against COOL

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has authorized Canada and Mexico to charge the U.S. $1 billion in retaliatory tariffs for country-of-origin labeling (COOL) on meat. Last spring, WTO rejected a U.S. appeal of its decision that COOL unfairly discriminates against meat imports and gives the advantage to domestic meat products. COOL, which went into effect for meat… Continue Reading

USDA Plans to Begin Catfish Inspections in March 2016

Long-awaited U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) catfish inspections, mandated by Farm Bills since 2008, will begin next March, according to a final rule establishing an inspection program for fish in the order Siluriformes, including catfish. The final rule, which applies to both domestically raised and imported Siluriformes fish, was developed by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection… Continue Reading

USTR Tells WTO That COOL Damages Are Much Lower Than Estimated

Last week, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) filed a legal brief in the World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute over mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL), arguing that the $3 billion sought by Canada and Mexico in retaliatory tariffs are a dramatic overestimation of damages. The U.S. requested that the WTO Arbitrator reject the amounts requested by… Continue Reading

Senators Introduce Bill for Voluntary COOL Label

Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and John Hoeven (R-ND) introduced a bill Thursday that would remove certain meats from the mandatory country-of-origin (COOL) labeling program and institute a voluntary label instead. In May, the World Trade Organization rejected a U.S. appeal of its decision that COOL on meat unfairly discriminates against meat imports and give the… Continue Reading

More Food Safety Issues Popping Up on WTO Committee Agenda

China, Costa Rica, and the European Union earlier this month put new food safety-related issues on the agenda at the World Trade Organization’s Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures. China told the SPS Committee that it plans to amend its safety assessment of agricultural genetically modified food and feed, sometimes referred to as biotech… Continue Reading