House Ag Leader Promises COOL By 2008

US - By September 2008, Americans will know the country of origin of food they are purchasing. That is if Congressional leaders get their way.
calendar icon 14 June 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

The highly controversial country of origin labeling law that was written into law in the 2002 farm bill has yet to be enacted due to pressure from a number of food and farm groups. However, recent food safety scares such as contaminates in lettuce, peanut butter, dog food and shrimp have led up to a highly pressurized issue in Washington. Apparently, consumers will finally get their wish that food raised in the U.S. will be labeled as domestically-raised.

‘‘Mandatory labeling of fruits, vegetables and meats will be implemented,’’

‘‘It is going to happen.’’

Collin Peterson, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee

Collin Peterson, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, told reporters last week in Washington that the waiting is over and besides a few minor changes in the law which have to be ironed out, country of origin labeling (COOL) will become the law of the land in 2008.

‘‘Mandatory labeling of fruits, vegetables and meats will be implemented,’’ Peterson said. ‘‘It is going to happen.’’

COOL is set to become law Sept. 30, 2008.

Adamantly opposed to the law are several organizations, many that are trying to discredit the law saying that labeling will force small operations out of business and lead to even more costs for domestic-raised products thereby giving imported products a stronger hold on the market. American producers are banking on the fact that the consumer will choose U.S.-grown products as American food safety standards are perceived as higher than standards in other countries.

The truth is fleeting, according to the American Meat Institute (AMI), a lobbying group in Washington who represent meat processors. AMI said that foods that are imported into the U.S. fall under the same rigid guidelines set for foods that are processed in the U.S. and that labeling will do nothing to improve food safety.

Source: FarmNews

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