- As President-elect Donald Trump’s various transition groups plan the first 100 days of the new administration, reports have emerged that the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) law may be back on the table in a potential renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, according to Food Safety News.
- Congress killed the provision last year, after the World Trade Organization ruled Canada and Mexico could begin imposing more than $1 billion in tariffs on U.S. products to punish it for the harm the labeling requirements were doing to them.
- Most farm and ranch groups oppose bringing COOL back from the dead. However, free trade group the Coalition for a Prosperous America has been pushing COOL to Trump's transition team, and R-CALF USA and smaller rural progressive groups are also in favor of it.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) is a law that requires retailers like grocery stores, supermarkets and club warehouse stores, to notify their customers with information on the source of foods, such as muscle cut and ground meats: lamb, goat, and chicken; wild and farm-raised fish and shellfish; fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables; peanuts, pecans, and macadamia nuts; and ginseng.
During President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign, the topic came up several times, and some of the people representing him did favor reinstating it. If that was to happen, it would create stricter label requirements for manufacturers. It may also have an impact on U.S. exports.
Consumers, however, might look to President Trump as a champion of food safety, believing that the move is aimed at protecting them.