Wisconsin Farmers Union: Canadian Mad Cow Disease case exemplifies need for COOL

CHIPPEWA FALLS – Wisconsin Farmers Union believes the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s

confirmation of Mad Cow Disease in a beef cow in Alberta, Canada Feb. 13 is a clear example of why the

United States must continue to hold strong on the issue of Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL).

“This incident makes Farmers Union believe even more in our cause to protect Country-of-Origin Labeling,”

said WFU President Darin Von Ruden, a Westby dairy farmer. “It is a vital tool in ensuring that farmers can

provide a secure product and that consumers can be confident about where their food originates.”

COOL is a labeling law that requires retailers notify their customers of the source of certain foods, including

muscle cut and ground meats, fish, fruits and vegetables and certain nuts.

“Farmers Union has stood behind COOL from its inception, and we will continue to push forward,” Von Ruden


Since its passage in 2002, COOL has taken fire from meat processors both domestically and internationally.

However, in papers filed Feb. 9 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, COOL opponents

dropped a lawsuit filed by the multinational meatpacking industry and their allies to try and stop the U.S.

Department of Agriculture from implementing the labeling law.

National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson praised the dismissal, noting, “This is a clear and indisputable

win for American consumers and producers, and it’s a huge relief to know that common-sense labeling laws,

like COOL, can prevail in court despite the deep pockets of the multinationals.”

The victory came on the heels of a report released by Auburn University that not only demonstrated that fed

cattle price basis actually declined after COOL went into effect, but also that the labeling law had no negative

impact on imports of slaughter cattle and did not significantly affect imports of feeder cattle.

(See the report here: http://www.nfu.org/images/COOLReport1132015Final.pdf<.a>)

Farmers Union continues to urge consumers and members of Congress to stand by the popular labeling law.

Since its founding in 1930, Wisconsin Farmers Union, a member-driven organization, has been committed to enhancing

the quality of life for family farmers, rural communities, and all people through educational opportunities, cooperative

endeavors, and civic engagement. For more information visit www.wisconsinfarmersunion.com.