Washington, D.C.—“Food & Water Watch commends USDA for listening to tens of thousands of consumers and hundreds of farm, consumer, rural, faith, food and environmental groups and releasing a final rule on country origin labeling (COOL) that makes sensible changes to the labeling requirements for meat.
“The final rule eliminates the vague and misleading ‘mixed origin’ country of origin label for meat and ensures that each cut of meat clearly displays each stage of production (where the animal was born, raised and slaughtered) on the label. This commonsense approach improves the usefulness of the information consumers receive from the label and allows livestock producers to distinguish their products in the marketplace. This change also addresses concerns raised in a World Trade Organization challenge to the current rules, and actually improves the integrity of country of origin labels by passing information that is already gathered by meatpackers on to consumers.
“The 2008 Farm Bill established mandatory COOL for beef, pork, poultry, fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables and some nuts, but Canada and Mexico successfully challenged the implemented rules for meat products at the World Trade Organization as a barrier to international trade.
“There is overwhelming consumer support for country of origin labels and a growing interest by consumers in knowing the source of their food. People have the right to know where the food they feed their families comes from. USDA’s new COOL rules significantly improve the disclosure of information to consumers.”
Contact: Darcey Rakestraw, 202-683-2467; [email protected]
Food & Water Watch works to ensure the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainable. So we can all enjoy and trust in what we eat and drink, we help people take charge of where their food comes from, keep clean, affordable, public tap water flowing freely to our homes, protect the environmental quality of oceans, force government to do its job protecting citizens, and educate about the importance of keeping shared resources under public control.