Spencer, IA: (Jun 11, 2015) – The House of Representatives voted Wednesday evening to repeal mandatory country of origin labels for meat.
The final vote was 300 to 131. Iowa’s three Republicans, Blum, Young and King, voted for repeal, while Democrat Dave Loebsack voted against repeal.
The House vote represents a victory for Canadian and Mexican livestock producers. They argued that labels declaring where an animal was born, raised and slaughtered caused U.S. packers and feeders to offer less for their livestock because of costly segregation measures.
Mexican and Canadian officials last week announced they were calling on the World Trade Organization to approve a combined $3 billion in retaliatory tariffs. The fear of tariffs rallied a mix of commodity groups to push for repeal of COOL.
Just after the vote, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President, Philip Ellis, called COOL “a failed program.”
Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union, criticized the vote, calling it a “disappointing, knee-jerk overreaction.”
The bill now goes to the Senate.
National Pork Producers Association President Ron Prestage, speaking rhetorically at last week’s World Pork Expo in Des Moines, urged repeal of COOL.