The US government is appealing the WTO’s rejection of the US Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) rule, but some meat packers think Washington should let the issue die. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Bob McCan calls COOL “a failed program” that could impose high costs on the beef industry and the US economy.

The rule would require packaged meat labels to indicate in what country the livestock was raised. Consumer groups lobbied for the rule, but Canada and Mexico complained to the WTO, which sided with them. McCan says the rule, if implemented, would likely trigger Canadian and Mexican retaliation against American beef exports.

“Our producers have already suffered discounts and faced the closure of a number of feedlots and packing plants due to the effects of this short-sighted regulation,” McCan says.