|COOL Moves Forward on
WASHINGTON (April 6, 2005) — United States consumers
are one step closer to knowing where their food comes
from, thanks to the implementation of mandatory country-of–origin
(COOL) of seafood products. The National Farmers Union
is pleased to finally see COOL implemented for seafood,
but will continue to fight until COOL is mandatory for
all agricultural products.
The NFU has long supported mandatory country-of-origin
labeling of all agricultural commodities and products
as a way to provide consumers with the knowledge to
make more informed choices about the products they purchase
and to serve as a beneficial marketing tool for U.S.
producers to compete with the flood of food imported
into the United States.
“We are not going to stop until we get COOL for
all U.S. agriculture products,” said NFU President
Dave Frederickson. “Last year a two-year delay
of the implementation of COOL was included in the must-pass
legislation to fund the federal government. We have
long felt that this delay was unnecessary and counter-productive
to the best interests of American consumers and agriculture
Seafood producers in the U.S. have suffered severe
economic losses due to the flood of imported product
landing in grocery stores cases. NFU contends that if
given the choice, consumers would purchase a U.S. product
over any other. An NFU nationwide poll found that over
80% of consumers supported mandatory COOL, would purchase
U.S. products if given the choice and would even pay
a few extra cents for the information.
The day after seafood COOL took effect nationwide,
the California Assembly Committee on Health approved
a state mandatory COOL bill for meat on a 10-2 vote.
California Farmers Union President Joaquin Contente
offered testimony supporting this legislative effort,
providing a voice for our nation’s family farmers
and ranchers. NFU encourages all members of the California
Assembly to support final passage of this legislation,
and urges other state legislatures to follow California’s