COOL back in the news

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Country of Origin Labelling has reared its ugly head yet again in the United States.

This time two class-action lawsuits have been filed in New Mexico against the four largest beef packers for misleading consumers with their ‘Produced in the U.S.A.’ labels.

The lawsuits, filed by a rancher and a consumer and transferred to New Mexico’s federal district court, claim Tyson, Cargill, JBS and National Beef have been misleading the public with such labeling since 2015 when Congress rescinded the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) regulations for pork and beef.

Current federal regulations allow beef packers to label products as U.S.-produced if the animal is processed in the U.S. Therefore, animals born, raised and slaughtered in another country can qualify as Product of the U.S.A.

The lawsuits claim packers have imported $6.2 billion worth of cattle/beef per year since 2015.

“By deceiving consumers about the true origin of the Products, Defendants are able to sell a greater volume of the Products, to produce cheaper products in other countries, and to take away market share from competitors as well as pay lower prices to domestic producers, thereby increasing their own sales and profits,” plaintiffs claim.