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Bennet supports Country-of-Origin Labeling for meats


Colorado U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet is fighting to support explicit labeling of beef and pork sold within the U.S. so that Colorado families know the origins of the meat they consume. In a letter (www.grassley.senate.gov/issues/upload/12-14-11-COOL-appeal-letter.pdf) to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, Bennet, along with 18 senators, urged them to appeal a recent panel ruling at the World Trade Organization. The panel affirmed that the U.S. is within its rights to administer the COOL program. However, the ruling also stated that the manner in which the program has been implemented discriminates against meats imported from abroad.

Bennet also called on Vilsack and Kirk to work to ensure that the COOL program meets our international trade obligations and continues to provide important information to consumers.

"As you are aware, included in the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 was a common sense plan for implementing a food labeling program to provide consumers with information about the origins of the food they purchase," the Senators wrote in the letter. "It was the intention of Congress in developing this provision that such labeling would be nondiscriminatory in its treatment of imported products by requiring the labeling of both domestic as well as imported products. We request that your agencies take appropriate actions to appeal the DSP's ruling and to work to ensure that our COOL program both meets our international trade obligations while continuing to provide such information to consumers."

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