The Canadian government has reportedly filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO), challenging the U.S. country-of-origin labeling (COOL) law. According to a news source, Canada alleges that COOL will impose unnecessary costs on meatpackers that use Canadian livestock and could lead to additional and more stringent labeling requirements in other countries. Canadian Trade Minister Stockwell Day was quoted as saying, “We believe that the country-of-origin legislation is creating undue trade restrictions to the detriment of
Canadian exporters.” The complaint initiates a consultation period, which, if unsuccessful, could lead to resolution by a WTO dispute settlement panel. Canadian beef and pork producers recently called on the government to institute such action; further details about their concerns appear in issue 281 of this Update. See, December 2, 2008.

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.