Congress repeals country of origin labeling for meat


It will be hard to tell where your beef and pork comes from with the repeal of the country of origin labeling in the United States.

Congress repealed the rules, which began in 2009, with a measure added to the omnibus budget bill passed on Friday. Obama signed the bill into law Friday.


The repeal comes after the World Trade Organization found the labels were unfair to meat producers outside the United States. Canada and Mexico last week were granted permission to impose more than $1 billion in import tariffs on U.S. goods if the labels were not removed.

A wide range of industries lobbied Congress to remove the labelling requirement out of fear that tariffs would spread to other U.S. exports, from furniture to frozen orange juice.

Groups representing small farmers and ranchers opposed removing the requirement, with small ranchers fearing a flood of cattle imports will depress prices and make it difficult for them to survive.

Other country of origin labelling remains in effect for things like fish and apples.