WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — The American Soybean Association (ASA) said on Oct. 20 that the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) ruling on mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL) reaffirms its position that the requirement is an “unworkable burden.”

The WTO said the COOL requirement for imported meat is noncompliant with WTO rules.

“This morning’s decision from the WTO only solidifies what we in the industry already knew to be true: that mandatory country of origin labeling in its current state is an unworkable burden on soybean farmers’ largest customers—the animal agriculture industry,” said ASA President Ray Gaesser of Corning, Iowa, U.S. “What’s worse is that the fallout from this rule following the finding of noncompliance by WTO will include a system of retaliatory tariffs by Canada and Mexico that will, at the very least, harm our partners in the animal agriculture industry.

“As part of the COOL Reform Coalition, we continue to urge Agriculture Secretary Vilsack to suspend the COOL rule indefinitely to avert a potential economic disaster not only for the American livestock industry, but also for those sectors like ours that depend so greatly on animal agriculture.”