Target: U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack
Goal: Enforce Country of Origin Labeling that requires retailers to display the source of certain natural foods.
The U.S. Country of Origin Labeling Act, known as the “COOL Act,” requires meat, chicken, fish, fruits, vegetables, and nuts to come packaged with their source country displayed. The World Trade Organization (WTO) has relentlessly appealed the Act stating it is in violation of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade because it imposes discriminatory barriers to countries outside the U.S. Please sign this petition urging the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to enforce the COOL Act despite the WTO’s appeals, as the WTO does not undermine our domestic laws.
The COOL Act was first adopted in 2002, but has never fully been enforced due to the WTO’s appeals and complaints that origin labeling will negatively affect sales outside of the U.S. Their argument is based in the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which is an international agreement to reduce trade barriers and eliminate preference on a reciprocal and mutually advantageous basis. To the WTO’s disadvantage, the trade and tariff agreement states that U.S. law prevails in any trade conflict between the U.S. and other countries. Because the COOL Act was adopted as U.S. law, it thereby trumps the trade and tariff agreement.
Proponents of the Act say the labeling requirement fulfills an overwhelming consumer demand for more information about their food. An educated consumer may choose not to eat fruits from Guatemala because of bacterial problems in the country, or refuse Canadian beef because of Mad Cow disease. Consumers deserve to know where their natural food comes from and the WTO has no right intervening in U.S. law.
Please sign this petition and urge U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack to protect and preserve U.S. sovereignty by demanding adherence with the COOL Act. It is your right to know where your food comes from in order to make an informed decision for yourself and your family.
Dear Mr. Vilsack,
The U.S. Country of Origin Labeling Act or the “COOL Act” has failed to be enforced despite its adoption into law in 2002. As the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, it is your duty to uphold voter approved laws above all else and protect U.S. sovereignty. Unfortunately, you and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk have allowed the World Trade Organization (WTO) to intervene to such an extent that the COOL Act is not being upheld and consumers are not getting the information necessary to make educated health decisions in the grocery store. I am writing to urge you to step up to the WTO and enforce the COOL Act as a consumer demand from U.S. citizens.
The COOL Act is a simple requirement of natural food retailers that they display their country of origin on foods like meat, chicken, fish, fruits, vegetables, and nuts. This pertinent information allows consumers to make educated choices on where they want their food to come from. Many people know that Canada has dealt with Mad Cow Disease and bacterial problems have been encountered in Guatemala. This information may influence a consumer not to buy Canadian beef or fruit from Guatemala. It is the right of consumers’ to know as much about their food as possible, especially something as indicative as the country of origin.
The WTO’s claims that the COOL Act is a violation of the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade is not only false, but moot, as U.S. law overrides any trade conflict between the U.S. and other countries. Unsanitary conditions, disease, propaganda, and other influential factors in choosing natural foods is not the fault of the U.S., but rather the country struggling to uphold consumer expectations. The COOL Act creates competition and thus raises the standard for quality in production and outcome.
Please uphold your legal and professional duty by enforcing the COOL Act as it was adopted in 2002. Protect and preserve U.S. sovereignty while supporting consumer rights and increasing standards in agriculture globally.
[Your Name Here]
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