February 2, 2007
February 2, 2007 - Legislation that would expedite the implementation of country-of-origin labeling (COOL) was introduced in the U.S. Senate this week by co-sponsors Sens. Craig Thomas (R-Wyo.) and Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.). The bill would implement mandatory COOL by Sept. 30, 2007, instead of the September 2008 deadline set in a fiscal year 2006 spending bill.
"Global trade is not going away, and with more trade comes an increase in the importance of country of origin labeling," Thomas said. "Many nations already label food and other products - including the United States, and like I've said before, if it is good enough for T-shirts, it is good enough for T-bones."
"Consumers should have the right to know where their beef, lamb and pork comes from," Bingaman said. "Moving up the date for mandatory labeling is a good idea."
Most U.S. trade partners, including the European Union, require country of origin labeling for food. Virtually every other item a consumer buys in the U.S. indicates a country of origin.
"Producers and consumers have waited long enough for country-of-origin labeling," Thomas concluded. "It is high time we make it happen."
Additional co-sponsors of this bipartisan bill include Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) and Kent Conrad (D-N.D.). Staff contact: Peter Orwick, ext. 33