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COOL Ruling Could Have Far Reaching Implications

by 5m Editor
22 September 2010, at 11:47am

CANADA - The chair of the Canadian Pork Council's trade committee says the World Trade Organization's ruling on US Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling will have far reaching implications, according to Bruce Cochrane.

Last week in Geneva a World Trade Organisation Dispute Settlement Panel, struck to address complaints against US Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling, heard preliminary testimony from Canada, Mexico, the US and interested third party nations.

Florian Possberg, the chair of the Canadian Pork Council trade committee and a member of a delegation on hand to provide support for the Canadian legal team, notes Country of Origin Labelling is in place in many countries particularly developed countries and can apply to any products not just agricultural.

Florian Possberg-Canadian Pork Council

Countries want to have the right to have that information on imported products.

In some cases it's for product safety.

What ever the reason is there's an interest in maintaining the ability of countries to have labelling on imported products.

On the other hand a lot of business and a lot of industries succeed world-wide because of our access to foreign markets and so the interest in making sure that labelling will not be used as a barrier to trade is huge, particularly in countries that depend on exports like we do in some of our agricultural products in Canada.

So there's a bit of a strong opinion on both sides of the spectrum on this one and it's going to set a precedent I think or has the potential to set a precedent for the way that labelling is used in trade laws for countries around the globe.


The next round of hearings is slated for Geneva in early December.