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Seafood COOL Unaffected by WTO’s Ruling on Meat Labeling


The Catfish Institute

 News Alert

Seafood COOL Unaffected

by WTO’s Ruling on Meat Labeling

December 30, 2015 — The World Trade Organization (WTO) recently authorized Canada and Mexico to impose retaliatory tariffs on certain U.S. meat products in the latest chapter of a long simmering dispute over proper country of origin labeling (COOL) in the U.S. The WTO ruling — and Congressional proposals in response — do not affect federal and state  COOL laws covering seafood such as catfish and catfish-like species, including imported pangasius, basa, tra and swag.

Ninety-two percent of Americans support country of origin labeling of all food. Nevertheless, some in Congress are calling for a repeal of COOL for certain foods specified by the Switzerland-based WTO.  Earlier this year, Food and Water Watch and more than 200 other food safety, consumer, environmental, farm and public interest groups urged Congress not to repeal COOL and uphold U.S. food safety laws and regulations.
“Country-of-origin labeling is overwhelmingly popular among consumers because it provides them with important information about their food as an increasing portion of it comes from outside the United States,” explained Jean Halloran, director of food policy initiatives for Consumers Union, the nation’s largest consumer organization.
Ninety percent of the seafood Americans eat is imported and most comes from Asia where health and safety standards are lower than in the U.S.  The FDA physically inspects about two-percent of seafood imports and only two-tenths of one percent are laboratory tested.
Consumers should always check the country of origin of seafood they purchase. U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish is reliably safe, delicious and 100 percent American grown and processed.
For more information about U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish, visit UScatfish.com.
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The Catfish Institute