Bush Friends Stall COOL For 5 Years

US - It's not the high temperature of this Rocky Mountain summer that makes COOL (country of origin labeling) implementation imperative. It's the shocking disregard for public health found among foods imported into the United States.
calendar icon 3 August 2007
clock icon 4 minute read

The news gets worse every week. Although Chinese producers and manufacturers have been most prominently implicated - in scandals ranging from contaminated pet foods to tainted shrimp - the truth is many U.S. trading partners don't have the same health, safety and environmental product safeguards Americans expect from U.S. products.

Five years ago, Congress approved legislation authorizing COOL for beef, poultry, seafood and most other meat and fresh produce sold at U.S. retail stores. The idea is to give shoppers the opportunity know where their food is produced so they can make more informed choices. U.S. producers, including many Montana and Wyoming cattle ranchers, supported the opportunity to distinguish their made-in-the-USA product from imports. President Bush signed that bill, but ever since he has found ways to delay COOL for beef, chiefly by exaggerating costs of implementation and then claiming lack of funding to put the labeling law into practice.

Appropriation battle

This year's agriculture appropriations bills in the House and Senate include funding to make COOL mandatory by September 2008.

Turns out there is a business boom in certifying where food comes from, a business driven by market demand. The July 30 issue of Business Week reports that IBM is selling systems that will trace food supply from source to market. Manufacturers of vitamins are cashing in with products "not made in China." A specialty U.S. dog food producer has found a growing market for its all-natural American foods. But shoppers can't usually find out where their beef originated, because the Bush administration hasn't implemented the law.

Here in cattle country it sounds incredible, but the United States imports beef from all over the world. According to R-CALF United Stockgrowers of America, those imports last year included 2.3 million live cattle from Canada and Mexico.

Source: BillingsGazette

That Old Country Of Origin Labelling Debate

Should we be able to trace each steak, sausage and egg on our plate back to the very birth-spot of the animals great-grandmother, or is the whole idea of labelling just completely unworkable and financially absurd? It seems everybody in the industry has their own opinion and nowadays each voice wants to be heard. Rise above the cocophony of contradiction by clicking on any of the links below.


House Ag Committee Compromise Improves COOL Law for Cattlemen
2007-07-16 Weekly US Cattle Outlook - MCOOL needs to be amended
2007-07-14 NFU Applauds COOL Timeline, Urges Law be Kept Intact
2007-07-13 NCBA: Congress Must Fix Country-of-Origin Labeling
2007-07-12 Beef and Meat Groups Debate Country-of-origin Labeling
2007-07-11 Poll Underscores Value of Existing U.S. COOL for Imported Meat and Poultry
2007-06-27 AMI Masterminds Anti-COOL Campaign
2007-06-14 House Ag Leader Promises COOL By 2008
2007-06-12 R-Calf Loses Its COOL With American Meat Association
2007-06-06 AMI Misleads Congress, Consumers on COOL
2007-05-10 Consumers Deserve COOL More Than Ever
2007-05-02 Mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling— Will It Benefit Customers
2007-03-01 NFU to Congress: Implement COOL
2007-03-01 COOL should be implemented sooner, not later ............................................

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