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NFU: Voluntary Food Labeling Won't Work

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HAY MAKER

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NFU: Voluntary Food Labeling Won't Work

WASHINGTON (May 5, 2005) – National Farmers Union is characterizing legislation to repeal mandatory country-of-origin-labeling (COOL)—and replace it with a voluntary system—an attempt to kill the widely supported COOL law passed in the 2002 Farm Bill. The recently-introduced Meat Promotion Act would repeal the mandatory labeling provision and, instead, implement a voluntary system.

“Voluntary country-of-origin labeling is currently available and has been for a number of years,” said NFU President Dave Frederickson. “Yet companies that import cheaper, often lower-quality food products have been unwilling to participate. Voluntary COOL is like having a voluntary speed limit—it is not realistic.”

Without mandatory labeling, consumers have no way to distinguish high quality U.S. products from the ever increasing flood of products imported into United State s.

“It is unfair to keep a marketing and promotion tool like COOL from American producers, while continuing the negotiation of trade deals like the Central American Free Trade Agreement that will further open our markets with little expected return for U.S. producers,” said Frederickson.

If implemented, COOL will provide producers with the opportunity to gain a greater share of that food dollar. At the same time, it will provide consumers with a greater understanding of the food they feed their families.

“It is a mistake to take the approach of killing the law before it is properly implemented,” said Frederickson. “USDA has just implemented mandatory seafood COOL and the sky has not fallen. Consumers want to know the origin of their food.”



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STAFF

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PORKER

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