BONO MACK'S COUNTRY OF ORIGIN LABELING MEASURE HITS THE SHELVES
Consumers will now know where their fresh fruits and vegetables come from
Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack's (CA-45) pro-consumer country of origin labeling (COOL) measure goes into effect today. This will require supermarkets and other food retailers to label and display the country of origin for fresh fruits and vegetables, meats and nuts.
"Consumers deserve to know where their food comes from," said Bono Mack. "With these new labeling standards, people can make informed decisions about the fresh fruits and vegetables they buy and put on their family's dinner tables. Some countries have stricter inspection guidelines than others, and recent outbreaks of Salmonella and E. Coli underscore the importance of country of origin labeling.
"I am proud to have helped make this valuable program a reality and am pleased that consumers and America's agricultural community can now benefit from its enactment."
The 2008 Farm Bill included a provision sponsored by Bono Mack and supported on a bipartisan basis to ensure country of origin labeling for fresh produce. Effective Sept. 30, 2008, country of origin labeling will be required for all fresh and frozen fruit and vegetable, peanut, pecan, ginseng, macadamia nut, beef, pork, lamb, goat and chicken covered commodities sold by designated retailers. Since April 2005, country of origin labeling and the method of production have been required for fish and shellfish covered commodities sold at retail. Markets and stores across the country will now have six months to come fully into compliance