Congress Decides You Don’t Deserve to Know Where Your Meat Comes From

Written by on December 28, 2015 in Government, Policies with 160 Comments


By Julie Fidler | Natural Society

The spending bill passed by Congress on Friday repealed the country-of-origin labeling (COOL) regulation that let consumers know where their meat came from.

Related Article: Is Congress’s $1.15 Trillion Spending Bill a Death Warrant on US Government Finances?

The decision follows a ruling from the World Trade Organization (WTO) that found the labels discriminate against meat raised and slaughtered outside the United States. The WTO permitted Mexico and Canada to impose more than $1 billion in tariffs on U.S. goods in retaliation if the labels were not pulled from packages of beef and pork. The nations are the U.S.’s top agriculture partners. [1]

Meat packers and members of Congress had fought for years to repeal the law, even though country-of-origin labels also appear on many foods, including peanuts, fish, and apples.

“Our attitude was we were going to use every available mechanism to get a bad idea, and a bad law, repealed,” said Mark Dopp, general counsel for the North American Meat Institute, a group that represents livestock producers and meat packers such as Tyson Foods Inc. “While we couldn’t initiate WTO litigation, we were glad that the Mexican and Canadian governments did.”

Related Article: Study Finds Hidden Horse and other Mislabeled Meat in 20% of Ground Meat

The labeling gained support in Congress in 2000 when mad-cow disease (known as variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans) weighed heavily on the minds of lawmakers and consumers alike. Consumer groups argued at the time that the labels would help shoppers avoid products from countries hit particularly hard by the disease. Meat packers, however, said the regulations imposed unnecessary costs and burdens by requiring them to track and sort animals throughout their lifetimes. [2]


Brazil suffered an outbreak of mad-cow disease as recently as 2014, and hoof-and-mouth disease has plagued the country.

Related Article: Eating Red or Processed Meat May Increase Your Risk Of Getting Cancer

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will continue to inspect all meat before it reaches grocery store shelves, but food labeling advocates compare eliminating nation-of-origin labeling to removing ingredient labels that Americans depend on to know what is in their food.

“This is a rotten way to do legislation, by attaching these barnacles on the omnibus bills in the dark of the night,” said Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union, a Washington, D.C.-based organization.

Ninety percent of Americans support country-of-information labeling on meat products, according to a 2013 survey.


[1] Takepart

[2] The Wall Street Journal

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  1.' Patadora Yeager says:

    time to find a local farm and pay more but get good food

  2.' Nancy Kelly says:

    Buy local!

  3.' Oliya Michaela says:

    is this only for meat? or all products

  4.' Sandy Worsham says:

    Jamie Lance Cline…

  5.' June Davis Fish says:

    This might be a good reason to become a vegetarian! Letting their damned unlabeled meat rot in the cases would be quite a statement and attention getter. 😀

  6.' Ismail Amarouch says:

    Stefano Moussa this is how things work!! ?

  7.' Tony Nash says:

    Being vegan I don’t give a toss. If the animals had been living the best of lives, in the nicest environment, eating the nicest grass, under a beautiful chemtrail free sky, with all the best ethical boxes ticked – if that’s even possible – then do you think congress would want you to ignore all the care and $’s spent on the product? No! They’d have you know what went in to the product and you’d never hear the end of it! Therefore, they are hiding the inverseness and hoping you’ll shut your mouths about it too! EVIL politicians!

    •' Kena Rotthier says:

      Did you not read? Meat and fish were not the only thing? What happens next?

    •' Howard R. Hamilton says:

      The US COOL laws have been a trade barrier that was against world trade rules for over a decade. They did this to prevent a WTO sanction that would have cost US exporters billions in trade sanctions.

  8.' Branka Curovic says:

    How did this happen! =/

    •' Jeanette Raper says:

      It’s the massive number of “Riders” that get added to bills, by the lobbyists, being passed by Congress. They never even have time to read them. Therefore they need to be fired.

  9.' Jodie Lynn Jones says:

    What about them? They want to know where their food is from

  10.' Joachim Wielandt Jacobsen says:

    Then just don’t buy it!!!

  11.' Miranda Skenderi Gjergji says:


  12.' Charley Danielle Mears says:

    Who cares quitting eat meat!
    Only people who are on a lower consciousness needs meat, people who are tryin to ascend eat plants.

    •' Kena Rotthier says:

      Did you not read? Meat and fish were not the only thing? What happens next?

    •' Robina Ramzan says:


    •' Wendy Hardin says:

      They eat yak in Tibet. Those people are more enlightened than you could ever hope to be. And you won’t “ascend” with that attitude either.

    •' Charley Danielle Mears says:

      Ascension is not about rainbows and unicorns, it is tougher than just being Susie Cream cheese, going with the flow, or my least favorite quote people say, everything in moderation. No sometimes you have to put your hands in the air and say this is not working!

    •' Charley Danielle Mears says:

      Whose is they? Regular folks eat yak, not Buddhist.

  13.' Laurence Brabant says:

    So you cry about no labelling on meat in the US but it is a breach of the trade agreement with Canada , Canada does not label meats coming from the states …Canada has lost approx 3 billion dollars from the states breaching the agreement. Canada has some of the best meats in the world …

  14.' Vérane Jackie Deschamps says:


  15.' Jeanie Cuppett Callaghan says:

    What is wrong with those freaks in congress!

  16.' Ray Clause says:

    Buy local or harvest your own

  17.' Michael Grant says:

    Time to stop eating meat… There are MUCH better alternatives – all more appropriate for our natural (internal) tract… In other words, we were not meant to eat meat in the first place, anyway. What’s being provided is NOT safe; no quality control – and no-one to give a hoot what effect it WILL have, including cancer… NOW might you stop it – and become a fit, healthy person you once were?…

    •' Kena Rotthier says:

      Did you not read? Meat and fish were not the only thing? What happens next?

    •' Jack Marsh says:

      Vegans eat something that removes brain cells.

    •' Sung Kim says:

      I have not had meat for almost two months and I feel awesome. No dairy either. Veganism is a bit too extreme, but meat is bad for you and bad for the environment

    •' Billy Sunshine says:

      Jack Marsh… has 39 brain cells. His fb profile page lists them as “friends”. This is SNL material! hahahahaha

    •' Wolf Jackson says:

      As long as I have incisors in my skull, which are meant for cutting and tearing meat, I will never not eat meat. If you don’t want to eat meat fine, but if you say we aren’t meant to eat meat or it’s bad for us you are a retard beyond belief.

    •' Linda Senesac says:

      Michael Grant this effects u too. B4 u post some flippant remark, check out the labels on canned veggies or fruit, or most other foodstuff u buy. The majority of them either say made in China, or grown in the USA which means it was packaged in China which has little to no regulations on sanitation. R u dumb enough to think that food is any better for u than meat? If u don’t grow ur own veggies and fruit or buy from a reputable organic farmer, ur screwed, too! Oh wait…u can’t cuz r corrupt government just made it impossible to know where r food comes from!!!

    •' Phyl Lamattina says:

      Jack Marsh You don’t have to go “Vegan”, that is at the extreme end. Too many people don’t know the difference between Vegans & Vegetarians. We stopped eating “food with Faces” almost a year ago., ..But we do eat dairy products, eggs & fish. I feel much better since then. But I don’t preach it, I just prefer to eat this way.

    •' Leonard Harrison Jr. says:

      our veggies are just as bad all kinds of poison on it all our food is bad but what can we do not much . there are some food are worst than others and all food should be label and place of origin on it.for eating meat is no problem that bs but don t eat red meat every day there is fish ,chicken ,pork and veggies too we need all of it.why do we get our food from china, japon beef we have our own here this is bs. i don t want there shit here we have everything here. it is all about money money and controling us

    •' Amber Buckley-Cobbett says:

      Sorry Phyl Lamattina I just had to clarify that a fish does have a face!! 😉

    •' LaShon Carter says:

      Thanks Amber ! Lol

  18.' Ivan Obregon says:

    Obama and the clintons’ TPP is going into effect….

  19.' Jeremy Hood-Daniel says:

    you folks need to fire congress, they are obviously working for the people who have bought them, and not for the benefit of the country

  20.' Stephen Snow says:

    Stop eating it and this issue goes away!

  21.' Jet J Triplett says:

    We eat too much meat in America.

  22.' William Barber says:

    Dumbbutt republicans.

  23.' Ksd Inspirations says:

    Thoughts and ideas are the source of all wealth, success, material gain, all great discoveries, inventions and achievement.”

    Check out this article titled:
    Create positive thinking habits via @KSDinspirations

  24.' Tony Godwin Jr. says:

    For the vegans.. hope you’re non-gmo aswell. Not just no-meat. Organic is not organic. Grow your own or buy local grown with worm castings. Yum.

  25.' Greg Sterett says:

    What happens to all the meat we ship to China that gets turned around because China refuses to accept US meat products?

  26.' Catherine Byers says:

    Well, that’s a healthy mindset, but then again, Congress has always been ‘for the people,’ right? ??

  27.' Lynn Greenis says:
  28.' Brandon Capes says:

    Someone needs to roast for this #punintended

  29.' Don Field says:

    A stratagy

  30.' Googolplexian Lac says:

    The morg

  31.' Don Field says:

    Why was this up to congress to decide. To much involvement.

  32.' Terrance Snyder says:

    Really ?

  33.' Karin Impastato says:

    It’s so expensive and the quality is very poor. Not like when I was a kid

  34.' Winston Williams says:

    What is their stated argument regarding the unreasonableness of this labelling?

  35.' Fran Fran says:

    I stopped over a year ago.

  36.' Cathy Siegel says:

    Then don’t eat it

  37.' Fred Mars Stouder says:

    All foods need to be labeled. But, I don’t eat beef or pork so no worries for me. totally bad for the environment and for your health no matter where it comes from. People are finally starting to cut down on their consumption of mammals.

  38.' Marylee Guertin says:

    Another reason to buy local.

  39.' Monique Toups says:


  40.' Kosta Tomazos says:

    Congress decides while the the meat packers associations stuff their pockets.

  41.' Daniel Platten says:

    No meat for me, fuk em.

  42.' Jacques Bourdeau says:


  43.' Jeffrey Andrews says:

    What! It probably isn’t meat? Nowadays

  44.' Maria Lynne says:

    Stop eatinh meat.

  45.' Tinky Tinkerson says:

    I believe, like the anti-GMO movement, the ethical companies will voluntarily label their products and possibly even an organization will pop up that will authenticate country of origin and the unethical companies will be forced to comply with what the people want as opposed to the corporations or be forced to go out of business. The shift has begun.

  46.' Marybeth Morgan says:

    Don ‘t deserve OR they are not willing to say?

  47.' Beverly Hilton says:

    We really need to clean house and fire those slimy blaggards! We need to know where our meet comes from!

  48.' Sandy Smeriglio says:

    Congress does not work for “We The People”, They work for the people who who stuffed their Pockets, wake up America.

  49.' David Godfrey says:

    Therefore Congress (a group of baboons) DOESN’T need another raise.

  50.' Migdalia Flores Bonaparte says:

    I wonder what they eat!

  51.' Paul Armstrong says:

    go vegetarian….

  52.' LaNae Hope says:

    Tell me again what exactly is Congress job description ?

  53.' Kathy Payne says:

    Another reason I don’t eat meat.

  54.' Chris Critters says:

    Don’t buy it…it’s the only way.

  55.' Katrina Hogue says:

    Quit eating meat. Obviously.

  56.' Juliet Seer Pazera says:

    I haven’t eaten meat in 23 years and it was the greatest decision I ever made! I prefer a Vegan Lifestyle! I’m happy and very healthy! I take no meds and have perfect blood work! It’s been proven that meat is toxic and causes cancer especially Pork products. But my take is Doesn’t this beautiful Animal Friend deserve to LIVE??? What right do humans have to enslave animals and torture them for a 15 minute meal?? So sad.. once you wake up and understand we are all ONE, you will never eat flesh again!! Tesla, Da Vinci and other great minds did not eat meat… A Veg lifestyle is about Spiritual growth and HIGHER CONSCIOUSNESS!!! YOUR Intuition grows too!!!! Please watch Forks over Knives, Cowspiracy and EARTHLINGS!!! WE NEED to shift or this Planet is really Screwed!!!!

  57.' Brandi Reynolds says:

    I hope that this pushes those who still consume animal products to seek out local folks to purchase from. If I still ate meat, this might be my reason for stopping that consumption. Sad that our government holds our safety with such little regard.

  58.' Cheryl Issa says:

    Thank goodness I’m on a plant-based lifestyle!

  59.' Andrew Whitnah says:

    How can you tell if someone is vegan? They’ll remind you every 5 minutes.

  60.' Robyn Peace says:

    barbacue a gop member instead

  61.' Amber Boo Pamber says:

    They’d stop telling us what time of the day it was if they could.

  62.' Felicia Delano says:

    Another voted decision brought to you by idiots who doesn’t care a rats ass for the American people only looking out for themselves and the almighty dollars.

  63.' Lesly Iglesias Balzano says:


  64.' Cory Berg says:

    Keep the meat label and dump congress

  65.' Patricia Anne Franczyk says:

    we don’t. go vegan.

  66.' Pedro Irizarry says:

    They can decide where the meat goes,I’ll decide to buy frm local farm.that if U eat fast food then ur supporting their system to send our homemade food abroad to b processed then sent back to b cooked n bars,restaurants n fast food places.and to all the ppl who don’t eat meat ur not n the clear foreign n domestic pesticides and dead foods will b also shipped to ur tables.

  67.' Adrienne Allen says:

    Buy organic

  68.' Susan Woodward says:

    YES for the small amount I need. Dont eat Beef or Lamb for starters. Yuk. This is the reason for antibiotics not being able to stop MRSA etc in its tracks. Veggies are also at fault along with the over zealous parents who race to the nearest dr to get an antibiotic for the whingey, whiney child ‘for no reason’

  69.' Heather Bowman says:

    It is probably related to the fact that China is going to start cloning animals for meat, so by not knowing where it came from, less uproar

  70.' Graham Reidy says:

    If meat doesn’t have a country of origin label on it, then don’t buy it.

  71.' Penny McDonough says:

    Buy local grass fed antibiotic free from local farmers…they ARE out there. $$$’s are the only thing these meat producers understand

  72.' Denise VanVliet says:

    All we have to do is STOP BUYING IT! That’s the only way they will pay attention.

  73.' Sharon Rose Dean says:

    it is time to start eating meat, anyway it is a good thing, animals have spirit, feel pain, etc….healthier with no meat….

  74.' Rui Machado says:

    Congress needs to be fired!

  75.' Billy Sunshine says:

    I just figured…If it looks like human flesh, it may very well be. If we are all one, then consuming any flesh would be nothing but “Cannibalism”.

  76.' Elise Weisser-Cruz says:

    Oh look Erica Lynn just what we need

  77.' Pauline Collins-Jones says:


  78.' Corrine Phebus says:


  79.' Tamara Coimbra Fernandez says:


  80.' Carla McEwen says:

    if there is no country of origin, i do not usually buy it if i don’t know where it from

  81.' Mayr Berry says:

    So much for transparency and accountability!!!!!

  82.' Josephine Polifroni says:

    Since companies and stores are not forbidden from labeling, raising a big stink where ever you purchase meat is a way to force labeling. If people won’t buy it without labels, the labels will come back. Before you say that it is just better to stop eating meat altogether, the plan is to stop labeling everything? Are you planning to stop eating? If not, demand labeling. Ask the store, write letters to the companies, buy only from good sources until they feel the pinch.

  83.' Cali Fever says:

    END. “PENDING TPSEP “. NOW. Keep posts ongoing.

  84.' Suzi DS says:

    I don’t eat meat….people can eat all rubbish put in supermarkets and they don’t care. Shame. And rats and dog are meat….so many beautiful healthy tasty food and alive….this meat is dead. And government can give you any order,writing whatever they want and people can use to it without thinking WHY . Sad than human brains is so toxic can not thinking clearly and make live beautiful and creates beautiful children…..not zombies who follow orders like in nazi camps!

  85.' Mike Dymski says:

    i want to know everything about my meat, what the cattle was fed, if its GMO or not, where its from , what injections it was given everything!

  86.' Mike Dymski says:

    when you restrict any information you are being controlled…. and lied to thats truth

  87.' Dan Florida says:

    When you eat something that has been tortured and mistreated its whole life your wrong if you think it has no effect on you.

  88.' Diem Marseille says:

    That’s why I’m happy to be vegan

  89.' Brian Carman says:

    Soylent Green is next!

  90.' Dan Joseph says:

    Buy local
    Get to know your butcher
    If you don’t know , don’t buy

  91.' Eileen Young says:

    Congress is WRONG! We do deserve to know where our food comes from! We insist on knowing!

  92.' Georgeand Sheila Stonier says:

    Want to know where My food comes from

  93.' Ellen Davis says:

    That’s right! Vote them all out! I am tired of worrying about my food and being lied to about it! For God’s sake can we please get the truth!

  94.' Jenny Brown says:


  95.' Mi Chan says:

    So glad I don’t eat meat!

  96.' Collin Fen says:

    It’s all Coruption and money. Poison in your bodies. Best way is to buy local or stop eating meat. Grow your own food.

  97.' Paul Bukky says:

    Bought off politicians..Pork won’t come from the Middle East.

  98.' Mary Dill says:

    I do

  99.' David M. Smith says:

    Get to know a cattle farmer, buy a cow and send if off to the local butcher. My family gets a cow every year

  100.' Graham Minnaar says:

    I care not only about where my food comes from but also how ethically it was farmed. I am also very happy to pay a premium to enable the choice to support ethically farmed produce that was farmed in harmony with nature & the environment.

  101.' Nicolette Joan says:

    They are great! Aren’t they?

  102.' R Lei Kahiwalani says:

    We are In Shift.

  103.' Claudia Ivins says:

    I want to know exactly where my meat is coming from.

  104.' Lance Domdey says:

    Another reason for a plant base diet!

  105.' Hily Pacot Carrel says:


  106.' Kathy Wilkerson says:


  107.' Patty Netolicky says:

    We have the right to know, and we want to know!

  108.' Linda Too says:

    I want to know!

  109.' Wiley Howell says:

    Leave it to congress to give you the meat.

  110.' Marianne Apicello says:

    We deserve to know where our food comes from and what we are purchasing!!

  111.' Nicole Hutchinson says:

    So we could be eating human.. And not know it… Wtf.. Lmmfao

  112.' Emerald Eyes says:

    If that’s the case I’ll either buy locally or stop eating meat. Congress and the government needs to stop and think about how fucked up this country is getting because of them. The government is heartless. I hope karma gets them. But it won’t. That’s why its one thing after another.

  113.' Veronica Phillips says:

    We need to know where or food comes from so we can make am informed decision.

  114.' Terri Kronmeyer says:

    How about if they stick Road kill up their bums! lol

  115.' Jessaca Cerecer says:

    What the heck !!! Protest people . This is insain

  116.' Jessaca Cerecer says:

    Don’t buy meat that’s not organic and shows where they’re from .

  117.' M Gabrielle Lucier says:

    I want to eat local meat.

  118.' Russ Howard Sr says:

    Follow the money

  119.' Karla Canales says:

    Allan Rigoni

  120.' Alecia Watt says:

    Kenneth, the link is broken but look at the title. SMDH

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