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Agriculture minister wants Mexico to retaliate against U.S. meat-labelling rules

OTTAWA - Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz is urging his Mexican counterpart to come up with retaliatory measures against meat- labelling requirements imposed by the United States.

Ritz says country-of-origin labelling, also known as COOL, is costing the North American meat industry billions of dollars.

Ritz met with Mexican Agriculture Secretary Enrique Martínez and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in Mexico City this week.

He says he told Vilsack that Canada is preparing to bring in its own retaliatory measures once authorized by the World Trade Organization and quote — "will not blink on this issue."

He wants Mexico to keep up the pressure and says a list of comprehensive measures would help with public opinion.

U.S. rules on country labels, introduced in 2002 and enforced since 2008, are blamed for reducing Canadian cross-border meat exports by half.



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