Mandatory COOL bill for processed foods to be introduced

by Staff
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CLEVELAND — Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio intends to introduce legislation requiring country-of-origin labeling (COOL) for processed foods.

"From food to toothpaste, toys to tires, we must do more to protect our families from contaminated and defective imports," Mr. Brown said. "We need a new approach to import safety. We need to inform and protect consumers, while holding distributors accountable for the safety of the products they import."

Mr. Brown will introduce legislation that makes labeling more transparent and uniform for manufactured foods. The bill would make COOL mandatory for processed foods. This would be an expansion of provisions in the 2002 farm bill that established country-of-origin labeling for meat, fruits, vegetables and seafood. After repeated statutory and regulatory delays, the new labeling requirements are scheduled to go into effect in September of 2008.

"Consumers shouldn’t have to buy blind when it comes to the food they put on the table, whether it’s a piece of fruit from Mexico or a piece of fruitcake from China," Mr. Brown said.

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