New US Law Requiring Country-of-Origin Label on Food to Take Effect

As of September 30, US food manufacturers and grocery stores will follow footsteps of some other countries by labeling meat, fruits and vegetables with country of origin. Fish and seafood have carried such labels since 2005. “The idea gained momentum, though, following a string of food-borne illness outbreaks, new concerns over the safety of food imports and some of the largest meat recalls in history,” notes a McClatchy newspaper report from the Guardian. Such labeling requirements are regarded as protectionist measures by some trade analysts. Shoppers who pay attention to the labels and news reports can attempt to select products from countries deemed to have high safety standards. The country-of-origin labeling law, or Cool, is costly and does not cover processed foods. Some surprises could be in store as regulators warn that some meat labels will include multiple countries. Enforcement will be a challenge, and some food companies could lie. Grocers anticipate US shoppers to prefer US products, but surprises could emerge there as well, as price and other factors such as humane treatment of animals, amid recent reports of livestock abuse, will also sway decisions. – YaleGlobal

New US Law Requiring Country-of-Origin Label on Food to Take Effect

Country of origin law will take effect September 30, some product labels may list multiple countries and defining processed foods still an issue
Thursday, September 18, 2008

Click here for the article on The Guardian. © Guardian News and Media Limited 2008; © 2008

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