The new country of origin labeling (COOL) rules have officially taken effect, but meat and livestock industry groups continue their efforts to modify or repeal the law.
“There’s a very, very good chance that WTO rules against us in the spring and summer—then we’re in the retaliation phase,” says Giordano. “There’s going to be a lot of U.S. products, companies and workers, farmers and ranchers hurt if it comes to that.”
Giordano says Canada and Mexico are important markets for U.S. pork.
“If you get restrictions on our exports there, there’s going to be a lot of blood on the floor,” he says. “So we’re working hard in the farm bill conference and we hope that the train gets back on the tracks here so we can avoid retaliation.
“If it doesn’t, we’re looking down the barrel of a gun here.”
Under COOL, meat labels must state where the animal was born, raised and slaughtered.