WASHINGTON (Nov. 5, 2013) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued the following statement after a conversation with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL):
“The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has confirmed its commitment and confidence in U.S. COOL laws on multiple occasions. The USTR has earlier said several times publically that the changes contained in USDA's final rule will bring the current COOL requirements into compliance with the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling.
“It is important to remember that the WTO found the COOL law to be compliant. Many other countries in the WTO have similar laws.
“The United States has never conceded to the WTO before being directed to do so by a dispute panel. This is not the issue that should change that standing. Consumers have indicated that they want to know where their food has been produced, and we should provide that information.
“Recent threats by the Canadian Agriculture Minister are unjustified and out of line. As a sovereign nation, we should not take direction from Canada. They do not dictate what is compliant, it is the reason we have the WTO.
“NFU will continue to stand up for U.S. family farmers, ranchers and consumers on this issue. We urge Congress to uphold the COOL law as it stands and allow USDA, USTR and the WTO to do their work.”