As expected, Congress has officially repealed country-of-origin labeling for meat — meaning that retailers and producers will no longer be required to identify where an animal was raised, slaughtered, or processed. The repeal has gone into immediate effect.
First introduced in 2009, country-of-origin labeling has been especially valuable to the small American farms that make a living by promoting their livestock as being born and raised in the U.S., and to consumer groups that have advocated for transparency in the food industry, especially as shoppers have become increasingly invested in where their food comes from.
The same origin labeling law, was challenged by Canada and Mexico, two vitally important trade partners who have argued that the labeling laws only served to discourage Americans from purchasing meat that was raised or processed outside the U.S. The ruling is particularly troubling for ranchers in northern border states which compete directly with Canada.
The World Trade Organization ruled in favor of Canada and Mexico, and approved both countries to impose up to $1 billion in tariffs on American goods.
Lawmakers then quickly added the provision to a $1.15 billion spending bill, which has now passed into law. American meat producers have accused Congress of allowing international partners to “once again deliberately deceive consumers.”