Food Retail Industry Commends House Action on COOL

June 10, 2015 – ARLINGTON, VA – Food Marketing Institute (FMI) issued the following statement from FMI President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin in response to the House of Representatives’ vote to repeal country of origin labeling (COOL) for beef, pork, and chicken. The House voted 300-131 in favor of H.R. 2393 – the Country of Origin Labeling Amendments Act of 2015.

Sarasin stated, "Today’s vote was an important first step towards addressing the WTO’s finding that significant portions of the COOL law violate the United States’ international trade commitments. The Senate must now act expeditiously to take up this legislation and complete the process of reforming COOL.

"The time has come to stop tinkering around the edges of the law; the WTO dispute settlement process has run its course. The consequences of maintaining the status quo and trying to run out the clock – as some have called for – are clear: Canada and Mexico will be able to impose retaliatory tariffs on a host of U.S. exports as early as this summer. Allowing these tariffs to be enforced would not only damage US jobs and companies that have no stake in COOL, it would also damage the United States’ reputation as a leader of the rules-based international trading system.

"Clinging to a failed law in the face of economic harm simply does not make sense. Even the USDA’s own economic analysis of COOL found that it hurt producers, packers, retailers and consumers without offering any clear economic benefits in return. COOL needs to be changed. The strong support for H.R. 2393 demonstrated by today’s vote should send a clear signal to all our trading partners that Congress understands this and is ready to act. 

"Chairman Michael Conaway of the House Committee on Agriculture, Representative Jim Costa of California and all of the bipartisan supporters of H.R. 2393 deserve to be commended for their leadership on this issue. FMI urges the Senate to offer Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts the same level of support for his efforts to fix this problem before US exports are unfairly penalized."


About FMI
Food Marketing Institute proudly advocates on behalf of the food retail industry. FMI’s U.S. members operate nearly 40,000 retail food stores and 25,000 pharmacies, representing a combined annual sales volume of almost $770 billion. Through programs in public affairs, food safety, research, education and industry relations, FMI offers resources and provides valuable benefits to more than 1,225 food retail and wholesale member companies in the United States and around the world. FMI membership covers the spectrum of diverse venues where food is sold, including single owner grocery stores, large multi-store supermarket chains and mixed retail stores. For more information, visit and for information regarding the FMI foundation, visit