By: Adam Reiser

Recently, we as a country celebrated our independence and pride in our American history.  Every year like clockwork in town’s big and small all across this great land, we as a people come together, united in celebrating our Nations birthday.  This year as families celebrated by the pool, with barbequing and fireworks- thoughts of our Nation’s problems seemed to fade and for a moment we celebrated all that is good in America, past and present.

But, when the fireworks and the music stopped, we once again returned to our homes, businesses and lives and the very real problems that have indeed not disappeared but, still remain demanding to be addressed.  Our Nations exploding debt problem, disastrous unemployment numbers,  lack of any real job creation and the burgeoning foreclosure crisis while our Government seem endlessly locked in constant on-going debate.

As the very serious “Debt Issue” debate in Congress seems to grab the headlines, many other important issues are not even a “bleep” on the media radar.  Let’s take for instance that recently, the WTO (World Trade Organization) issued a preliminary ruling against the use of the United States mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (COOL Act) on agricultural products like meat, poultry, fruits and vegetables.   For those of you that were not aware- the Country of Origin mandatory labeling requirement on agricultural products and food only became a mandatory law in 2009.

This WTO Preliminary Ruling has not made the nightly news or the front page of most papers- but, certainly should be, as this ruling is the beginning of a very slippery slope that our Nation is on.

The Country of Origin Labeling ACT (COOL) was a hard fought law on the part of consumer advocacy groups against many “big U.S. food” associations & multi-national lobbying groups that felt the labeling was not necessary and that “consumers didn’t care about the fine print of where their food came from”.  However, despite big businesses staunch opposition, the requirement became law in 2009, and enabled consumers to see where the food they were buying was coming from.

The Country of Origin labeling law allows consumers to make informed purchasing decisions for themselves and their families, and provides helpful information in case of a re-call or bacterial contamination like just happened on a massive scale with Germany and the largest E-Coli outbreak in history.   You would think that consumers should have the “right” to know where their food comes from, but, apparently the WTO, Canada, and Mexico don’t agree, they feel it is a “barrier to trade”.

Just a few short months after this law was passed in 2009, Canada and Mexico filed a lawsuit against the United States with the WTO, saying that the United States was in in violation of fair trade regulations and  that as a member country of the WTO, the United States has agreed to adhere to WTO rules and regulations.  Canada and Mexico argued that this labeling law gave the United States an unfair advantage over products from Mexico and Canada.  The WTO agrees with them and issued a preliminary ruling on May 20, 2011 with a formal ruling which will likely be made sometime in September.

There are many things that bother me about this ruling, but, particular after just celebrating our Nations July 4th holiday and our “independence” as a Nation.  I can’t help but think of how our founding forefathers fought so desperately, with their lives and fortunes on the line so, that our country would have the freedom to create our own Government and our own laws.  Now on the 235th birthday of our independence, we are looking at the fact that an outside organization like the World Trade Organization or the United Nations could decide what laws we can and can’t pass to protect our citizens.

To me, this is the scariest part of this ruling.  If we allow a group of people, and nations, to dictate what laws we can and can’t pass in this country, are we no longer a “sovereign nation”?  Is the United States of America a “free” and “independent” Nation?

Or…while the world is busy watching Congress fight, or the tragedy of the Casey Anthony trial….is our freedom and independence being swiftly and silently being taken away while no one is paying attention?

In honor of our country’s 235th birthday of independence and freedom, contact your congressmen and women and let them know you are here, you are watching and we must protect our citizen’s rights!

Country of Origin labeling is a hard fought right for American consumers; giving them the power to choose and make informed decisions on the food they feed their family.  No other country, organization, or group of people should be able to strip Americans of this right. For if we allow this to happen….what my fellow Americans is next?

 About the Author: Adam Reiser is the Editor  &  Co-Founder of Made in USA Certified, Inc.  (www.usa-c.com), the leading, bi-partisan, independent, third party certification company for the claims “Made in USA”, “Product of USA” and “Service in USA”.

Contact your Congressman https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml
Contact your Senator http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

Sources:

(1)  Source:  Original article that appeared in Drovers Cattle Network 5/27/11:  http://info.usa-c.com/2011/06/02/wto-rules-against-u-s-cool-program/

(2)  Source:  Guardian, UK – E coli Outbreak: Germany Reports more Deaths. 6/8/11:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jun/08/e-coli-germany-more-deaths

(3)  Source:  Illinois Farm Bureau– Big Beef’s stance 6/3/11:  http://www.ilfb.org/viewdocument.asp?did=20188&r=0.9453089

(4)   Source:  Wikipedia – Kevin’s Law- H.R. 3160:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin’s_Law

7 thoughts on “WTO Ruling Against Country of Origin Labeling Threatens U.S. Sovereignty”
  1. First Close the borders until Americans can take care of it’s own. Stop bowing down to a few people that don’t even belong in the country in the first place . The biggest slap in the face is D.C. keeps giving SS aid to Illegals who never payed in a cent but think they a right to it. If congress thinks they are entitled, let them forfeit their paycheck and benefits!!! A fed up tax payer and a proud american vet

  2. Thought it’s not surprising, I would have doubts that any WTO ruling can affect US law until that law is repealed and, despite the deference the current administration may give to international rulings, an act of Congress requires an act of Congress to repeal or the U.S. courts to overturn. I have my doubts that a Repub house that is trying to position itself as pro-American and just about everything opposite of this Administration would be inclined to repeal such a law.

  3. We don’t belong in the W.T.O. Free trade has done nothing for the American worker. American workers should not have to compete with the poorest people on earth. Think about it, could you afford a big home, a nice car, and a middle-class life getting the same wages as Chinese factory workers. Every corporation which stops manufacturing in the U.S. and sends jobs overseas or fills it’s shelves with foreign manufactured items e.g.(Stanley Tools and Walmart) need to be put on a do not patronize list. The way to deal with these traitors to America is easy, don’t buy their crap! Throw out every legislator who does not support a 100% buy American plan. If Canada and Mexico pretend that the products coming into the U.S. under NAFTA were actually made in Mexican or Canadian factories when they were not (only companies 100% owned by citizens of these countries and whose raw materials, products and components were sourced or manufactured in NAFTA countries should have the benefit of NAFTA) and if we find out this is not true we need to leave NAFTA. The benefits of NAFTA should only be applicable to citizens of the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. No value added elements, components or raw materials found in products for entry under NAFTA that come from outside these countries(Canada and Mexico) should be allowed to be considered for entry to the U.S. under NAFTA auspices.

    We need an agency with a powerful czar(the czar of fair trade) who oversees all exports into this country to make sure other countries are playing fairly. If we find that other countries are following non free trade policies then we institute a policy of 105% reciprocity in trade. This means that all importers and exporters dealing with certain countries submit their orders to the “czar” and he throws out all imports that keep the U.S. from having a 5% advantage in trade balance over other countries. We only have to examine which countries have bought our debt to see which countries have been giving us a screw job. if they don’t like it, screw them where are they going to go? Hey, let them try to get back their investment in U.S. debt at 10 cents on the dollar. Cut them off, screw them, they’re not doing us any good anyway. But the primary fault lies with Americans who buy foreign products and ultimately say, screw my neighbor. So don’t be a bad citizen, it is too important, think about what you purchase and its source. Buy American!!

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