FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 27, 2005 Contact: Sandy Courtnage
COOL Delayed AGAIN
GREAT FALLS, MT – A Congressional conference committee voted to delay Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) for another two years for all products except seafood. A majority of the conferees have agreed to the House and Senate report, which sets the stage for a final vote in both houses in the near future.
“Once again, a small number of elected officials have derailed a popular measure that is supported overwhelmingly by consumers and agriculture producers,” said Montana Farmers Union (MFU) President Brooks Dailey. “This is a clear case of certain members of Congress working for special interests at the expense of the American consumer.”
Congress adopted mandatory COOL in 2002, yet its implementation for everything but seafood has been delayed repeatedly. In 2003 and again now in 2005 there was no public debate or vote. The committees’ majority leadership left only an up-or-down vote on the overall agriculture spending measure.
“Anytime the public has been invited to participate in the conversation, the message has been clear,” said Dailey. “We all want COOL, and we want it implemented immediately. That’s why these deals have to be executed in the relative secrecy of the conference committee.”
“Montana Farmers Union will continue to work for an equitable labeling bill that reflects the needs and desires of consumers and producers,” said Dailey.