Ag Policy/Food Prices

Statement by CFA’s Chris Waldrop on House Vote on Country-of-Origin Labeling

“Yesterday the House voted to deny American consumers basic information about where their food comes from. In supporting a repeal of country of origin labeling for meat, pork and chicken, Congress bowed to overblown threats of retaliation from Canada and Mexico and took action prematurely before the case at the World Trade Organization (WTO) was fully settled.

“In fact, the WTO process is still ongoing, as the WTO must determine the level of retaliation, if any, Canada and Mexico are allowed to impose on the U.S. That process will take several more months. Even then, the three countries could agree on a resolution to the issue before a single sanction is applied.

“U.S. consumers want more information about their food, not less. A recent CFA poll found that a large majority of Americans strongly support mandatory country of origin labeling for fresh meat. Over 280 consumer, farm, rural, labor and environmental groups wrote Congress this week in support of COOL.

“CFA urges the Senate to wait until the WTO process is finalized before determining a course of action.”

Contact: Chris Waldrop, 202-797-8551

Chris Waldrop is director of the Food Policy Institute at Consumer Federation of America. CFA is an association of nearly 280 nonprofit consumer organizations that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy and education.