The WTO ruled in 2015 that COOL violated world trade rules because it imposed a disproportionate burden of record-keeping and source verification. | File photo

Canadian cattle producers on alert as U.S. talks COOL

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association is working with allies in every cattle-producing state in the United States to prevent a new version of mandatory country-of-origin labelling from affecting trade. In a media briefing following the CCA’s annual meeting, executive vice-president Dennis Laycraft said the idea of reviving COOL has been raised by U.S. President Joe Biden’s […] Read more

Interest is growing in the United States for a return to some kind of country-of-origin labelling rules, similar to what significantly damaged Canada’s cattle industry in the previous decade.  | Jeannette Greaves photo

U.S. ag secretary ‘happy’ to work on WTO-compliant COOL

Country brought in first country-of-origin labelling legislation when Tom Vilsack was agriculture secretary under Obama

Tom Vilsack, U.S. president Joe Biden’s pick for agriculture secretary, says he will be happy to again advance country-of-origin labelling policies. During his Feb. 2 confirmation hearing of the Senate agricultural committee, Vilsack, who held the post during the entire Barack Obama administration, confirmed he is open to reintroducing COOL laws if they comply with […] Read more

Not long after Obama was first elected in 2008, mandatory COOL was brought in by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. By 2015 it was struck down by the WTO, with Mexico and Canada successfully arguing the policy put cattle and pig producers in those countries at a disadvantage. | File photo

U.S. ag secretary ‘happy’ to work on WTO-compliant COOL

Tom Vilsack, U.S. president Joe Biden’s pick for agriculture secretary, says he will be happy to again advance country-of-origin labelling policies. During his Feb. 2 confirmation hearing of the Senate agricultural committee, Vilsack, who held the post during the entire Barack Obama administration, confirmed he is open to reintroducing COOL laws if they comply with […] Read more


The NFU, the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association and others want to clarify the

‘Product of USA’ label new COOL focus

The new U.S. Congress may revisit mandatory country-of-origin labelling for pork and beef, says a representative of the National Farmers Union in the United States. However, the political hurdles of passing such legislation are high. It’s more likely the U.S. government will strengthen its Product of USA label for pork and beef, which could affect […] Read more

Alberta resisting U.S. calls to revisit COOL

The spectre of country of origin labelling in the United States has been raised again in connection with the Canada-U.S.-Mexico trade agreement that is yet to be approved by all three parties involved. The Alberta government today said there are reports that some members of the United States House of Representatives want to include mandatory […] Read more


Durum sales to Italy, which had been Canada’s top customer, have slowed to a trickle in the wake of country-of-origin labelling legislation.  |  File photo

Feds talk durum during EU trade mission

A Canadian trade delegation hopes it made some progress in the ongoing durum tiff with Italy. Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay led a delegation that met with the Italian grain industry during a trade mission to the European Union. “I raised Canada’s serious concerns about our market conditions in Italy, which are hurting our durum […] Read more

Under the the Italian policy, Canadian durum destined for Italy would need to be segregated and labelled, adding significant costs to processors and end users. | File photo

VIDEO: Cereals Canada urges Canadian trade action against Italy

The top executive with Cereals Canada says it’s time for Ottawa to launch a formal trade challenge against Italy over its treatment of Canadian durum wheat. Cam Dahl, executive director with Cereals Canada, said Ottawa has raised concerns in Europe and Italy regarding an Italian policy that requires country-of-origin labels to be attached to pasta […] Read more

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. | Reuters photo

New U.S. secretary of agriculture says ‘COOL is a settled issue’

TORONTO — If American farm groups, legislators or even fellow members of cabinet come to him recommending that the U.S. reimpose country-of-origin labelling, Sonny Perdue won’t be encouraging them. “I think what I would advise them is to persuade the World Trade Organization to change their mind (first),” the U.S. secretary of agriculture said in […] Read more


NAFTA negotiations could begin in 90 days, or Aug. 16 at the earliest, now that the notification is official. | File photo

Cattle groups fear return of COOL

Cattle producer organizations, throughout North America, are worried that NAFTA renegotiations could provide an opportunity for the United States to re-introduce mandatory Country of Origin Labelling. On May 18, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer notified Congress that President Donald Trump’s administration plans to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). NAFTA negotiations could begin […] Read more

COOL is estimated to have cost the livestock industry $1 billion in export losses, and any return to such a policy would be sure to create consternation in Canada. 
| File photo

COOL back from the dead after election

A trade issue that bedevilled Canadian livestock producers for much of a decade may be making a comeback. CNN reported last week that a memo from U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team suggests making mandatory country-of-origin labelling a trade focus for the new administration, along with renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement. COOL is estimated […] Read more