In Veto Override, Bono Mack's Country-Of-Origin Labeling Provision Passes
Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack (CA-45) today voted to override the Presidential veto on the 2008 Farm Bill, which included a provision introduced by Bono Mack to ensure country-of-origin labeling (C.O.O.L.) for fresh meats and produce.
"Consumers deserve to know where the food they eat comes from," said Bono Mack. "Without C.O.O.L., it is easier to find the origin of your sweatshirt than it is of your last salad. With increasing concern for food safety, mandatory country-of-origin labeling will help Americans make fully informed decisions about the fresh fruits and vegetables they buy. All too often such diseases as E. coli, Salmonella and mad cow disease make their way to dinner tables and restaurants throughout our country. Given this very real threat to public safety, it is important that Americans are aware of the origin and inspection process of their food."
Over six years since its original passage, Bono Mack's C.O.O.L. provision was finally passed with the veto override that took place today on the 2008 Farm Bill. This legislation establishes a more stringent system to indicate the origin and background of American food imports, forcing countries and their farmers to be accountable for their products. Absence of origin labeling allows farmers from unsanitary and unregulated regions of the world to sell their products without fear of losing sales or facing judicial consequences of their tainted food, according to Bono Mack.
"Rep. Bono Mack has been one of the true champions for mandatory country-of-origin (C.O.O.L.) from day one. The implementation compromise included in this bill could not have been achieved without her involvement and leadership. I thank the Congresswoman for her support of the 2008 Farm Bill and outstanding leadership to ensure COOL is implemented by September of this year. She has done an exceptional job of working to protect the interests of America's farmers and consumers," said National Farmers Union President Tom Buis.
Congresswoman Bono Mack has been a leader in the fight for mandatory country-of-origin-labeling since being elected to Congress. Bono Mack's C.O.O.L. provision was passed as an amendment to the Farm Bill of 2002, specifically requiring C.O.O.L. for fresh produce. However, implementation of C.O.O.L. was delayed in the omnibus FY2004 appropriations bill. Bono Mack again introduced legislation in the 109th Congress to reinstate the mandatory county-of-origin labeling deadline for fresh produce and meat products.
"I am pleased that Congress has finally recognized the importance of fully enacting C.O.O.L. and ensuring that consumers can have the confidence they need when purchasing their food. This is a win for American consumers and farmers," said Bono Mack.