Labels on packaged steaks and other cuts of meat in the United States that say where the animals were born, raised and slaughtered will have to be dropped or revised after a World Trade Organization ruling.
The office of the U.S. Trade Representative said Monday that the WTO has rejected a final U.S. appeal, deciding that the U.S. “country of origin” labels put Canadian and Mexican livestock at a disadvantage.
The Obama administration has already revised the labels to try to comply with WTO obligations. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has said that if the WTO ruled against the final U.S. appeal, Congress will have to weigh in to avoid retaliation from the two neighbor countries.
The ruling is a victory for the U.S. meat industry, which has said the labels are burdensome.