December 8, 2016

Senators Introduce COOL Labeling Legislation

U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and John Hoeven (R-ND) have introduced new bipartisan legislation to address country-of-origin labeling (COOL) following the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling against the United States in May 2015. The legislation, called the Voluntary County of Origin Labeling (COOL) and Trade Enhancement Act of 2015 would comply with that ruling, and would put in place a voluntary label.

hamburgers-arsThis label would help consumers know where their food comes from and should confirmed with the WTO’s ruling. The labels could say “Product of the U.S.”

Stabenow said in a statement, “Michigan farmers and ranchers take pride in raising the world’s safest and most affordable foods, and parents in Michigan want to know as much as possible about what their kids are eating. If consumers in Canada have the right to know where their food comes from through a voluntary labeling system, then American consumers should have the same.”

The legislation would establish a voluntary label for beef, pork, chicken, and ground meat products from animals that are born, raised, and harvested in the U.S. And it would help prevent retaliatory sanctions and tariffs by repealing the mandatory label the WTO found objectionable, while creating an option to inform consumers.

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