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Reuters: COOL shaking up US meat industry

The Country Of Origin Labeling legislation (COOL) in the US has so far angered both the country's farmers and its neighbours Canada and Mexico, press agency Reuters reports.

The legislation has angered Canada and Mexico because it will hurt demand for their livestock, they say. It has raised talk of a trade war among the three countries.

Implementation

COOL was implemented last month and requires that labels on supermarket packages of meat and other foods list all the countries where the food came from. The drive for such labels intensified after dairy products from China were tainted in 2008 with the chemical melamine.

To better comply and to avoid stiff fines for labeling mistakes, US beef and pork companies are either refusing or are segregating cattle and hogs born outside of the United States. This has reduced markets for US producers, as well as for producers in Canada and Mexico.

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Natalie Berkhout

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