US appeals WTO decision on country of origin labelingThe US filed a notice of appeal with the World Trade Organization last week challenging the organization’s recent ruling on the country-of-origin (COOL law) labeling dispute.

The COOL law requires a label to be placed on meat packages according to where a product originated from detailing where an animal was born, raised and slaughtered.

Appeals are heard my three members of a permanent seven-member appellate body that are comprised of people of recognized authority and unaffiliated with any government. According to WTO, the body generally has up to three months to conclude its report.

In October, WTO’s compliance panel ruled in favor of Canada and Mexico finding the COOL measures treated Canadian and Mexican livestock less favorable than those from the US.

Specifically, the WTO concluded “the amended COOL measure increases the original COOL measure's detrimental impact on the competitive opportunities of imported livestock in the US market, because it necessitates increased segregation of meat and livestock according to origin; entails a higher recordkeeping burden; and increases the original COOL measure's incentive to choose domestic over imported livestock.”

In July, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Colombia Circuit decided the law did not violate free speech.