Americans Have A Fundamental Right To Know What’s In Our Food And Where It Comes From


Excerpt from: CREDO Action

Tell the Senate: Americans deserve to know where their meat comes from.

Americans have a fundamental right to know what’s in our food and where it comes from. But the World Trade Organization, some foreign countries, and even some members of Congress are working hard to take away our right to know.

At issue is “country of origin labeling” of meat (COOL), which requires that meat sold in the United States specifies where it originated. Some foreign countries, including Canada and Mexico, and the meat packing industry believe these overwhelmingly popular labels are too burdensome or unfair. And the Republican-controlled U.S. House recently took drastic measures to repeal these labels.

We deserve to know where our meat comes from with a simple label on our food. We must pressure the Senate to maintain country of origin labeling of our meat.

The laws governing country of origin labels require companies to list where food was raised, processed, and packaged. That’s why if COOL requirements were fully repealed, the outcome would be a huge victory for the meat processing industry. Repeal of these labels would allow the industry to save millions by importing cheaper meats from other countries or send meat to countries like China for processing without American consumers ever knowing the difference.

In 2014 alone, the U.S. imported nearly 5 million hogs from Canada and more than 2 million head of cattle from Canada and Mexico.1 Without labeling, Americans would never know where their meat comes from or be able to make informed choices at the grocery store.

Lawmakers in the Senate have introduced extremely weak legislation – to pacify America’s trading partners and the meat industry – which would fully repeal mandatory labels and establish a voluntary labeling system. But if history is any indication, we know the meat industry won’t use these voluntary labels.2

According to a poll conducted by the Consumer Federation of America, an overwhelming 90% of Americans support mandatory country of origin labeling and favor even more specific information about where meat is raised, slaughtered, and packaged.3

Americans must be able to trust that our food is safe and know where it comes from. We can’t allow the meat processing industry to dictate what we deserve to know about our food. That’s why we must increase pressure on the Senate to listen to the will of the American people and block any attempts to repeal mandatory COOL labeling requirements.

  • Petition the Senate:

“Americans deserve to know where their meat comes from. Maintain country of origin labeling for meat products and reject attempts by the World Trade Organization, other countries, and the meat packing industry to keep us in the dark about our food.”

Thanks for all you do to keep our food safe.

Josh Nelson, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

References

Tennille Tracy, “Sen. Stabenow Calls for Voluntary Country-of-Origin Labels on Meat,” The Wall Street Journal, Jun 25, 2015
Wenonah Hauter, “Senate Bill Repeals Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling for Beef, Pork and Chicken,” EcoWatch, July 23, 2015
“Large Majority of Americans Strongly Support Requiring More Information on Origin of Fresh Meat,” Consumer Federation of America, May 15, 2013

© 2015 CREDO. All rights reserved.

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