The Republican Congress is taking measures to repeal a law that requires meat to be labeled with information about where an animal was born, raised and slaughtered. The reason: Canada and Mexico think it’s unfair and it’s costing them money. They’re also calling it discriminatory against imported livestock.
As consumers, we should be outraged. There’s a reason that the law requiring labeling was put originally put into place. We have the right to know from where the food we eat originated. The economic impact on Canada and Mexico, as unfortunate as it is, does not supersede the need for knowledge, particularly in food.
“Our governments will be seeking authorization from the WTO to take retaliatory measures against U.S. exports,” the Mexican and Canadian ministers for trade and agriculture said in a joint statement.
They are bullying Congress with threats of punitive actions in retaliation if Congress does not meet their demands. They’ve even made a “hit list” that includes wine, chocolate, ketchup, and cereal. This should be an outrage to Americans. When countries try to affect our policies and negatively influence the health of American citizens to make their trade revenues higher, it’s time to act.
“Today’s WTO ruling … effectively orders the U.S. government to stop providing consumers basic information about where their food comes from,” said Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch Director Lori Wallach, adding that it showed the danger of free trade deals’ undermining consumer safeguards.
Write to Congress. Let them know that we want labeling, that we deserve to know the origin of the food that we eat, and that we will not accept repealing the law to appease foreign interests. As strange as it may sound, it may be time to boycott imports from Mexico and Canada. They feel like the economic hit of information is more important than our health concerns. They should feel a bigger economic hit for thinking they can rewrite our laws for us.