CFA: Voluntary COOL Not an Effective Solution

June 15, 2004
Chris Waldrop

"Today, Consumer Federation of America reiterates its support for mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL) for meat, poultry, seafood and fresh produce. CFA has long supported country of origin labeling as a means of providing consumers important additional information about the source of their food. It has long been clear that there is tremendous support for COOL among both producers and consumers.

"The voluntary COOL bill, introduced by Congressmen Stenholm and Goodlatte, is an effort to make those who favor COOL think that Congress is doing something when it is not. Voluntary COOL will be worthwhile when it is accompanied by a pledge from all major packers and retailers to participate and label their products. Until then, a voluntary program is merely another attempt to deny consumers vital information about their food."

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The Consumer Federation of America is a non-profit association of 300 consumer groups that seeks to advance the consumer interest through research, education and advocacy.