House Directs Conferees 
To Adopt Country-Of-Origin
Meat Labeling

WASHINGTON (April 24, 2002) -- For the first time, the U.S. House of Representatives went on record supporting mandatory country-of-origin labeling for fresh meats, fruits and vegetables today. By an overwhelming voice vote, the House directed its farm bill conferees to adopt the Senate's labeling language.

"Farmers Union commends the House for recognizing the strong producer and consumer support for the Senate's mandatory country-of-origin labeling provisions and for directing farm bill conferees to include them in the next farm bill," said Texas Farmers Union President, Wes Sims.

Multiple national surveys indicate that 86 percent of Americans prefer country-of-origin labeling for meat products. Consumer surveys also show more than 70 percent of produce shoppers support country-of-origin labeling for fruits and vegetables. In Florida, where such labeling has been the law for more than 20 years, more than 95 percent favor produce origin labeling in stores.

As the Farm Bill Conference Committee continue deliberation on this and other issues, Farmers Union is encouraging conferees to adopt the Senate's mandatory country-of-origin labeling for fruits, vegetables, meats, fish and peanuts. The organization also stands firm by the Senate language that would only allow U.S. labels on products from plants and animals, born, raised and processed in the United States.

"Consumers want to know the origin of their food, and farmers and ranchers are proud of the food they produce and would like to have these foods labeled as U.S. products," Sims said.

Texas Farmers Union, P.O. Box 738, Sweetwater, Tx 79556