UPDATE 1-U.S. plan to resolve meat-origin label fight draws fire

Fri Mar 8, 2013 6:51pm EST
 
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* Canada, Mexico won world trade ruling against U.S. labels

* Meat industry says U.S. proposal makes situation worse

* New rule would list where animals born, raised, slaughtered

* Canada says U.S. proposal falls short

By Charles Abbott

WASHINGTON, March 8 (Reuters) - The United States on Friday sought to address a long-running trade dispute by proposing stricter rules for labeling meat, but its proposal quickly drew criticism from the Canadian government, which said the plan falls short and vowed to continue fighting it.

The meat labeling rules at the center of the dispute aim to help consumers identify the country that produced the beef, pork, chicken and lamb sold in U.S. grocery stores.

The United States has until May 23 to redesign its country-of-origin rules to satisfy a World Trade Organization ruling. Canada and Mexico successfully argued the 2008 labeling law discriminated against their livestock and meat exports.

In a statement late on Friday, Canadian Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said his government was "extremely disappointed" with the U.S. proposal.   Continued...