Nebraska ag group opposes Johanns' effort to repeal COOL
Nebraska Farmers Union opposes “in the strongest possible terms” the amendment offered by Sen. Mike Johanns, R-NE, to repeal Country of Origin Labeling to the Senate Agriculture Committee Farm Bill proposal. COOL is the law of the land and authorization and implementation language has been included in the past two Farm Bills in 2002 and 2008.
NeFU has strongly supported Country of Origin Labeling since 1984, and has diligently worked through the 2002 and 2008 farm bills to get COOL labeling established and effectively implemented for 29 years.
“COOL continues to be strongly supported by consumer organizations and most organizations representing family farmers and ranchers,” said John Hansen, NeFU president. “Food consumers rightly want to know where the food they buy for their families was grown and processed so they can make an informed buying decision in the marketplace. The primary opposition to COOL comes from the U.S. meat processing cartel.”
In a statement, NeFU said it strongly believes United States family farmers and ranchers deserve the opportunity to differentiate their food products from their foreign competition in the marketplace. U.S. farmers and ranchers rightly take pride in the products they grow, and are not afraid of honest competition. U.S. food is produced with the highest food safety, environmental, and labor standards in the world.
NeFU supports USDA efforts responding to the WTO challenges of COOL by Mexico and Canada.
“If implemented properly, we believe these USDA labeling revisions represent an improvement in the transparency and accuracy of U.S. food labeling by providing consumers with even more detailed information about where meat products are born, raised, and processed,” Hansen said. “The WTO process should be given the opportunity to work.”
“We understand why Canada and Mexico do not want honest and accurate labeling information,” Hansen said. “They know that U.S. food consumers prefer U.S. produced meat products. The U.S. based international meat processing cartel prefers to import foreign meat products and then blend them with higher quality U.S. produced meat products because the old system of marketplace deception is extremely profitable. We are deeply disappointed with Sen. Johanns’s efforts to repeal COOL on their behalf.
“NeFU strongly opposes Sen. Johanns COOL repeal amendment and urges the Senate Ag Committee to reject it. COOL is good public policy and good marketplace policy. COOL represents marketplace honesty and transparency for both U.S. food producers and U.S. food consumer. Sen. Johanns’ efforts to repeal COOL would be a huge step backward.”
Nebraska Farmers Union is a general farm organization with 6,200 farm and ranch family members dedicated to protecting and enhancing the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers and ranchers, and their rural communities. Since 1913, Nebraska Farmers Union has helped organize more than 440 cooperatives.