On June 8, 2015 a letter signed by 283 farm, rural, faith, environmental, labor, farmworker, manufacturer and consumer organizations was submitted to the United States House Agriculture Committee urging them to reject the repeal of the Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) law and to support commonsense food labeling. NOFA-NJ was one of those who signed on to this petition. Polls show that nine out of ten Americans support COOL. Consumers continue to demand more information about their food – what goes into it and where it comes from.
Country Of Origin Labeling (COOL) is a requirement signed into American law under Title X of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (known as the 2002 Farm Bill, codified at 7 U.S.C. § 1638a). This law requires retailers to provide country-of-origin labeling for fresh beef, pork, and lamb. The program exempts processed meats. The United States Congress passed an expansion of the COOL requirements on September 29, 2008 to include more food items such as fresh fruits, nuts and vegetables and regulations were implemented on August 1, 2008, August 31, 2008 and May 24, 2013.
Under pressure from the World Trade Organization’s ruling that the U.S. labeling program resulted in discrimination against Canadian and Mexican beef and pork producers on June 10, 2015, the house passed the Country of Origin Labeling Amendments Act of 2015, which repeals requirements for chicken, pork and beef retailers to inform consumers of the country of origin, at the final point of sale. The legislative action moves now to the Senate.