Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement after the U.S. Trade Representative's office announced it will appeal a World Trade Organization ruling that undermines Country of Origin Labeling for meat. Tester is a strong advocate of COOL, which requires retailers to clearly label where meat was born, raised, and processed:
"Free trade needs to be fair trade. International bodies have no business denying American consumers the right to know where their meat comes from. Challenging this ruling is a responsible decision on behalf of American producers and consumers."
In December, Tester urged U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to appeal, saying that the labeling system "provides important and useful information to consumers while not placing an undue burden on the industry."