A New Law Might Ensure You Never Know the Origin of the Meat on Your Plate

A New Law Might Ensure You Never Know the Origin of the Meat on Your Plate
Source: AP
Source: AP

In a win for the meat industry, last month Congress repealed the labeling law that required meat packers to note where beef and pork is born, raised and slaughtered. According to the Associated Press, the decision was inevitable, as the World Trade Organization supported Canada and Mexico in their $1 billion "economic retaliation" against the U.S. for upholding the law, which officially went into effect in 2009.

The law was originally implemented to address fears surrounding mad cow disease in the early 2000s to the chagrin of meatpackers, many of whom imported their cattle from Mexico. Apparently, the increasing levels of bacteria in pigs from China isn't too worrisome, even with a World Health Organization official stating, "Some people will have untreatable infections and will start to die," to BBC Radio 4. Then again, Chipotle's E. Coli situation has left its loyalists inexplicably unfazed. 

Even so, some lawmakers and organizations are less than thrilled by the legislation repeal. "Packers will be able to once again deliberately deceive consumers," National Farmers Union member Roger Johnson told the AP.

Despite what people like Johnson see as ultimately a huge loss for consumers, the repeal does not include the labeling of genetically modified ingredients, which still must be marked as such, according to the AP. An Alaskan senator also added a provision specific to the labeling of genetically modified salmon, which the Food and Drug Administration approved. 

It looks like 2016 will be the year for mystery meat.

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Marie Solis

Marie is a staff writer with a focus in feminist issues. Her writing has appeared in Gothamist and the Awl. You can reach her at marie@mic.com.

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