In The World We Live In, No Country Of Origin Meat Labeling
Congress repealed a country of origin labeling requirement for meat sold in the United States, heading off more than $1 billion in tariffs threatened by Canada and Mexico.
The repeal comes after the World Trade Organization found the labels were unfair to meat producers outside the United States. Canada and Mexico last week were granted permission to impose more than $1 billion in import tariffs on U.S. goods if the labels were not removed.
A wide range of industries lobbied Congress to remove the labelling requirement out of fear that tariffs would spread to other U.S. exports, from furniture to frozen orange juice.
Groups representing small farmers and ranchers opposed removing the requirement, with small ranchers fearing a flood of cattle imports will depress prices and make it difficult for them to survive.
Other country of origin labeling remains in effect for things like fish and apples.
Country of Origin Meat Labeling
The previous law, as I understand it, requires labeling as to national origin. The repeal prevents foreign meat from being labeled as such; but it doesn’t prevent US meat producers from labeling it as US meat. As they used to say in the garment industry, “look for the label”.
This could be a great marketing tool for the beef industry. If I was a US beef distributor I would clearly mark on my packages “Country Of Origin USA”; or, if that was deemed discriminatory, describe a cut of meat as coming from a US state. That should work to get around the no ‘country’ of origin labeling. Frankly, the American public, lowest price Walmart shoppers that they are, could have stood up and insisted that the American consumer pay for the one billion dollar tariff bill. Of course they did not, so those who care about labeling will suffer the consequences.