South Dakota Stockgrowers Leaders React to WTO COOL Ruling

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association President Bill Kluck and Vice-President Gary Deering issued the following statements in reaction to the World Trade Organization’s (WTO’s) arbitration decision claiming the United States mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) law caused Canada and Mexico to suffer annual losses of $780 million and $228 million, respectively.

 Bill Kluck, Stockgrowers President from Mud Butte, SD said, “We are really frustrated at the result of this ruling by the World Trade Organization, and we cannot understand how the WTO concluded that COOL caused so much harm to foreign markets at a time when Canadian and Mexican cattle producers have enjoyed record high cattle prices and meat exports.

 “We continue to defend the United States’ right to label food products for the benefit of our producers and consumers. We call on Congress and the Senate to stand by our mandatory Country of Origin Labeling laws and to find diplomatic solutions to this dispute that satisfies our trading partners without compromising our countries sovereignty.”

“We encourage our members and anyone who is concerned about where their food comes from, to call our Congressional delegates and ask them to continue defending COOL.” 

Gary Deering, Vice-president from Hereford, SD stated, “South Dakota Stockgrowers Association has strongly supported mandatory COOL because we are proud of the beef we raise and we want our customers to be able to make a choice about the food they are serving their family. We know that more than 90% of consumers support and want labels on their food, and we’re very frustrated that an international court is now undermining our country’s laws.”

 “COOL was passed and implemented by the United States leaders and defended with broad support, including Senator Thune and Representative Noem. This decision by an international tribunal is a devastating blow to COOL and it concerns me that international organization can have such control over U.S. passed laws.”