Johnson Sponsors COOL Bill
July 1, 2005
July 1, 2005 -- This week, Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), along with Sen. Craig Thomas (R-WY), sponsored new country-of-origin-labeling (COOL) legislation that would advance the date for implementing mandatory COOL to January 30, 2006. Senate co-sponsors include Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Conrad Burns (R-Mont.).
?It is time to see COOL implemented for all other covered commodities. This bill would speed things up to ensure that the U.S. Department of Agriculture remains on track and stops dragging their feet,? Johnson said.
The bi-partisan bill that was introduced would move the date for mandatory implementation up for all other covered commodities from September 30, 2006, to January 30, 2006. The other commodities category includes: muscle cuts of beef, veal, lamb and pork; ground beef, lamb and pork; perishable agricultural commodities; and peanuts.
Mandatory COOL for fish and shellfish was implemented on April 4, 2005.
?Although opponents said that COOL was nearly impossible to implement and would come with crippling costs, it seems to be working just fine for fish right now. Enough waiting; this provision is law and consumers have a right to know where their food comes from,? Johnson continued.
A separate bi-partisan group of senators introduced legislation that would replace the mandatory program with a voluntary program.
Staff contact: Peter Orwick, ext. 33