Resolution on Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling

WHEREAS, the United States and Canada have the largest trading relationship in the world, with bilateral trade valued at $710 billion in 2012, a connection that benefits the economies of both countries; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. and Canada have an integrated livestock industry, with animals often crossing the border several times between birth and slaughter; and
WHEREAS, in 2009, the U.S. implemented mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (mCOOL) regulations, which the World Trade Organization (WTO) has since ruled discriminate against imported livestock; and
WHEREAS, new regulations recently published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to address the WTO ruling are more restrictive than the previous rules, and would require more specific labeling than the USDA previously mandated; and
WHEREAS, mCOOL is jeopardizing the viability of the U.S. packing and feeding industries, with the potential for significant job losses and plant closures, placing local and state economies at risk by imposing nearly $500 million in additional costs annually, according to USDA research; and
WHEREAS, mCOOL is undermining the U.S. regional competitiveness because of expensive record-keeping requirements for producers and processors and increased costs to consumers.
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that CSG requests that the U.S. Congress implement a legislative solution that will facilitate the efficient operation of the integrated regional livestock industry, rather than implement additional regulations and requirements for meat producers and processors; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this resolution be submitted to the U.S. secretary of agriculture, to members of the state house and senate agriculture committees from CSG’s regions, and to other appropriate state, federal and provincial officials.
Adopted this 22nd Day of September, 2013 at CSG’s 2013 National Conference in Kansas City, Missouri.