Two World Trade Organization dispute panel requests were blocked recently. The United States blocked a request by Canada and Mexico requesting that a WTO dispute panel look into U.S. country-of-origin labeling rules. The two countries contend COOL has made U.S. processors reluctant to buy Canadian and Mexican livestock and meat. Also, the European Union blocked a U.S. dispute panel request to look into a European ban on U.S. poultry because of a pathogen reduction process. The process is not allowed in the EU; U.S. officials contend there is no scientific reason for the ban. According to WTO rules, member countries have the right to block a dispute panel once, so it is likely that both requests will be repeated and the process will move forward. The Canadian-Mexican request could come up again as early as Nov. 19.
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