Bill would create voluntary COOL system
Jun 27, 2005 9:34 AM, from staff and wire reports
Legislation that will create a voluntary country of origin labeling (COOL) system for food has been introduced by United States Sen Rick Santorum (R-PA), chairman of the Senate Republican Conference and member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. Sen John Cornyn (R-TX) is a co-sponsor.
“It is widely accepted that the existing mandatory labeling program is overly burdensome and hurts the very people it was designed to aid," said Santorum. "This legislation builds on existing programs by creating a voluntary system that is geared towards providing the consumer with as much labeling information as possible. By recognizing regional, state, and brand name labels, we can utilize existing labeling programs to serve the same purpose of a national label. Consumers still receive the same information regarding where their food comes from, but in a more cost-efficient way.”
Called the Food Promotion Act of 2005, the bill would replace the expensive mandatory labeling program with a more efficient, cheaper voluntary system for produce, beef, veal, lamb, pork, and fish. Instead of a national COOL system, products would be labeled along the supply chain wherever most efficient to do so. This system would vary depending on the product and is consistent with hundreds of voluntary programs recognized by the US Department of Agriculture.
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