Washington (October 27, 2005) – Last week, Congress again delayed mandatory Country-0f-Origin Labeling (COOL) late at night, behind closed doors and with no public debate or votes. The agriculture conference committee adopted an additional two-year delay of COOL for all products except seafood, setting up a vote for final passage in the House and Senate.
“It is unconscionable that a handful of appropriators chose to ignore the concerns of consumers and producers and, instead, favored the interest of packers and retailers,” Texas Farmers Union President Wes Sims said. “Again, we have seen the democratic process averted, and again, farmers, ranchers, and consumers are on the losing side.”
This delay is a repeat of history, when the same action occurred in 2003. On both of these occasions the decision was made behind closed doors. Mandatory COOL was adopted by Congress in 2002, and its implementation for everything but seafood has been delayed.
“COOL is a vital marketing tool and widely supported in the countryside. Consumers have the right to know where their meats, fruits, and vegetables come from,” Sims said. “There is no valid reason that this law is not currently in place.
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