September 12, 2003
Sens. Tom Daschle (D-SD) and Tim Johnson (D-SD) called into question during a press conference on Sept. 10, 2003, the U.S. Department of Agriculture?s
(USDA) cost estimates for Country of Origin Labeling, slated for implementation in September 2004.
The press conference was prompted by the release of a report by the General Accounting Office (GAO) in which the GAO questioned USDA?s projected $1.9 billion price tag for the first year of the COOL program.
The report specifically called into question an hourly rate of $50 utilized by the department in estimating program costs, noting that the hourly rate is more than double those recently used by USDA in determining costs for other programs.
The GAO report may be viewed in its entirety at < a href="http://johnson.senate.gov/legispage/090903GAOReportonCOL.pdf" target="blank">http://johnson.senate.gov/legispage/090903GAOReportonCOL.pdf on the World Wide Web.
Sens. Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Craig Thomas (R-WY) also participated in the press conference.
Staff contact: Peter Orwick, ext. 33