For Immediate Release
July 3, 2015
OCM Repeats Call For U.S. Withdrawal From the WTO
An Independence Day Press Re-Release:
The OCM press release of four years ago that follows, reflects our frustration with the WTO decision made at that time, relative to the U.S. ability to implement its own mandatory COOL. The press release reflected concern for the conflict of special interest ridden WTO dispute resolution processes, and how they could adversely impact the U.S. in the days ahead.
OCM was right to sound the alarm.
How ironic it is, as our nation prepares to celebrate the 239th anniversary of the Continental Congress’ adoption of the Declaration of Independence, their successors, today’s House of Representatives, has voted 300 to 131 to repeal mandatory Country of Origin Labeling.
Our fervent desire as a people to chart our own course and control our own destiny has been thwarted by those who should protect it.
The House quickly sought to comply with the recent WTO decision that strips the U.S. of the ability to allow our citizens families to have the basic labeling information they need in order to know where the food they buy comes from.
Not a shot was fired as foreign entities subjugated our citizens, stealing food transparency from our nation.
The House vote also denies our nation’s hard working family farmers and ranchers the fundamental ability to identify and differentiate their own superior quality beef and pork in their home marketplace. But competitors in 70 other countries of the world will continue to use their own version of mandatory COOL in their marketplaces.
Where’s the justice? Where was the outrage of those 300 elected Congressmen over the loss of our nation’s ability to chart its own course and pursue the very principles our forefathers fought to establish? We offer you the re-release of our OCM Press Release from 2011 as food for thought this Independence Day weekend.
COOL is marketplace transparency. Without that, democracy cannot long survive.
As you put your steak or pork chop on the grill this weekend, reflect on all the American patriots who made this celebration possible. Where are today’s patriots?
Perhaps most importantly, where does your food come from, and where is this great nation headed?
Reclaiming the agricultural marketplace for farmers, ranchers and rural communities.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 23, 2011
OCM Call For U.S. Withdrawal From the WTO
The Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) announced today that the result of the World Trade Organization’s recent adverse decision on Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) and other factors, that OCM strongly encourages the United States to withdraw from the WTO.
OCM is a national non-profit educational organization which works to create more transparent, accessible, fair, and competitive markets for agricultural producers. “Consumers have a fundamental right to know where the food they buy comes from so they can make an informed buying decision. When U.S. consumers have the information before them, they prefer food products born and raised in the United States. That is a good thing. When the WTO rules against our country’s ability to identify its own domestically raised food products in its own marketplace, it should be a wakeup call to all citizens that our Congress has given away altogether too much sovereignty” said Fred Stokes, President of
OCM. Recently, the WTO found in favor of a complaint made by Canada and Mexico that the U.S. labeling was in violation under the technical barriers to trade agreement.
OCM Board member John Hansen said, “The governing structure of the WTO itself is not consistent with our nation’s core values as a democracy. Decisions are made behind closed doors by special interest players who are not elected, representative or accountable. International corporate interests routinely trump country or citizen interests. The WTO empowers special interests at the expense of public interests. WTO decisions now determine the legal structure for our domestic farm programs, and based on the WTO ruling on COOL, limits our nation’s ability to accurately label our own domestically produced food products. That is outrageous. It tells us how far out of control of our destiny our Congress has put our nation.”
“Since Congress voluntarily surrendered its oversight authority for trade to the WTO in 1993 thru the first quarter of 2010, the U.S. has accumulated a balance of trade deficit of $6.863 trillion. That is $6.863 in lost jobs, lost local, state, and federal tax revenues, and economic opportunity. No wonder our economy is in the tank. In addition, the WTO structure is reducing competition in the marketplace worldwide. Our markets are now more concentrated and less competitive as more and more wealth and power gets concentrated in to fewer and fewer hands. The WTO may be working for a handful of U.S. based international corporations, but it is not working for most Americans. The WTO is no longer an experiment. The facts are in. It is time to start over,” said Fred Stokes. “In particular, subjecting agriculture to the restrictions of the WTO is wrong because food is a basic human right, and everyone has the right to know where their food comes from and how it is produced.”