WTO Ruling Not COOL

by Long Island Attorney Paul A. Lauto, Esq.Many of us are familiar with COOL (Country of Origin Labeling), enacted in 2002 as part of the Farm Bill and expanded by Congress in 2008 to be more inclusive.  COOL protects consumers in that it requires the labels on certain meets to disclose the countries where cattle were born, raised and slaughtered.  One of the premises upon which the regulation is based, is that since cattle may be born, raised and slaughtered in three different countries, consumers have the right to know where their meats are coming from.

One of the challenges COOL has faced, has been issued by Mexico and Canada within the World Trade Organization (WTO).  The WTO Agreement, signed by the U.S., requires that members prevent technical barriers to trade.  Mexico and Canada have argued before the WTO, that COOL violates the barrier clause and has resulted in a significant loss of exports and money.

The WTO has reportedly just ruled against the United States and COOL and in favor of Mexico and Canada.  The United States has 60 days to appeal this decision or thereafter face possible tariffs to remedy Mexico and Canada’s financial loss, if COOL remains in place.  Apparently, “label-phobia” is not just a domestic problem suffered by Monsanto and the like, but is also an international problem.  After all, money still makes the world go ’round.

Long Island Lawyer
Paul A. Lauto, Esq.

Paul A. Lauto, Esq.
Paul A. Lauto, Esq. completed his undergraduate studies at SUNY at Stony Brook in 1987, with a major in political science and a double minor in socio-legal studies and moral-legal issues in philosophy. Mr. Lauto received his Juris Doctor from New York Law School in 1990 and was admitted in 1991 to practice in the courts of New York State, as well as the Eastern and Southern Districts of the United States District Court.

Mr. Lauto has primarily focused on personal injury throughout his career and previously worked as in-house counsel to a major insurance company. In 2002 Mr. Lauto established Paul A. Lauto, PLLC, with a primary concentration on personal injury, all types of accident cases, Wills, Trusts and Estates and more. Paul is the sole author of his Scales of Justice blog, which provides updates and information about current legal stories in the news and how they may affect our lives. Mr. Lauto prides himself on providing clients maximum results, with a high level of personal attorney service and attention that is uncommon in the profession. For more information please visit http://www.liattorney.com