CFA Applauds Obama Administration's Defense of Country-of-Origin Labeling

Consumer Federation of America Applauds Obama Administration’s Defense of Country-of-Origin Labeling

Washington, D.C. (May 23, 2012) – Consumer Federation of America today applauded the Obama Administration for appealing a World Trade Organization panel decision that ruled against U.S. country-of-origin labeling for meat.

“U.S. consumers overwhelmingly support country of origin labeling,” said Chris Waldrop, Director of CFA’s Food Policy Institute. “We are pleased that the Administration recognizes the importance of providing consumers with this information and will defend our country-of-origin labeling law before the WTO.”

Implemented in 2009 after years of advocacy by consumer and farming groups, the COOL law provides consumers with basic information about the origin of meat products, fish and seafood, fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, and certain nuts.  The November 2011 WTO panel decision affirmed the right of the United States to require country-of-origin labeling for meat products, but considered some provisions as barriers to trade.  In February, consumer groups wrote to President Obama urging him to appeal the ruling, noting that allowing the decision to be upheld could undermine consumers’ faith in the fairness of the WTO.

“Many countries across the globe have some form of country-of-origin labeling,” Waldrop said. “U.S. consumers have a right to know where their food comes from as well.”

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Consumer Federation of America is an association of nearly 300 nonprofit consumer organizations that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy and education.