On the heels of litigation commenced in American courts by producer groups against the most recent version of the United States' country-of-origin-labelling (COOL), Canada has announced its lastest salvo. On August 19, 2013, in a joint press release, International Trade Minister, Ed Fast, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister, Gerry Ritz, confirmed that Canada has requested that the WTO establish a Compliance Panel on U.S. food labelling regulations.
As noted in previous posts, the lastest U.S. regulations were introduced following WTO decisions that ran against the previous United States labelling regime. Since the introduction of the revised reuglations, industry producers from the U.S., Canada and Mexico, along with the Canadian and Mexican governments, have been arguing that the new rules continue to breach the WTO rulings.
Today's announcement by the Canadian government now means the updated U.S. regulations face opposition in both domestic courts and through the WTO.