Poll Shows Strong Support for Country of Origin Labelling20 May 2013
US - Survey results, released by the Consumer Federation of America, show that a large majority of Americans continue to strongly support mandatory country of origin labelling (COOL) for fresh meat.
The Survey also revealed that the majority also strongly favour requiring meat to be labelled with even more specific information about where the animals were born, raised and processed.
Ninety per cent (90 per cent) of a representative sample of 1,000 adult Americans favoured, either strongly or somewhat, requiring food sellers to indicate on the package label the country of origin of fresh meat they sell.
This high level of support for country of origin labelling is similar to the results of previous polling on the issue.
Eighty-seven per cent (87 per cent) of adults favoured, either strongly or somewhat, requiring food sellers to indicate on the package label the country or countries in which animals were born, raised and processed.
Similarly, ninety per cent (90 per cent) of adults favoured, either strongly or somewhat, requiring food sellers to indicate on the package label the country or countries in which animals were born and raised and the fact that the meat was processed in the US.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has proposed changing its country of origin regulations to provide consumers with this additional information in response to a World Trade Organization (WTO) challenge by Canada and Mexico.
“These results demonstrate that U.S. consumers continue to strongly support country of origin labeling and want even more detailed information about where their meat comes from,” said Chris Waldrop, Director of the Food Policy Institute at Consumer Federation of America.
“We urge the Administration to finalize its proposal and provide consumers with this additional information. The WTO should accept USDA’s changes to the COOL regulations as satisfactory.”
The survey results have been welcomed by the US National Farmers’ Union.
“The survey results are a further indication of what we have known for some time: Consumers overwhelmingly want to know more about the origins of their food, and farmers and ranchers want to provide this information,” said NFU President Roger Johnson.
”These findings, coupled with the recent withdrawal of two short-sighted amendments to the Senate and House’s respective farm bills that would have negatively impacted Country-of-Origin Labelling, are promising indications that country-of-origin labelling is vitally important and here to stay.”
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