OAKLAND, CA – Supported by 325 groups from farm-to-table, the Food Promotion Act of 2004 will, if passed, establish an effective, voluntary program for Country of Origin Labeling (COOL).

The critical legislation (H.R. 4576) introduced this week by the Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee Robert Goodlatte (R-6-VA), not only repeals the mandatory COOL program previously set forth in the 2002 Farm Bill, but implements a voluntary program that will be market-driven instead of mistake-driven.

This approach, which benefits both consumers and producers, is preferable to a mandatory program which is more likely to hurt the folks it was intended to help,” Chairman Goodlatte noted during a press conference held to introduce the legislation.

National Meat Association has long supported such a voluntary program, which addresses consumer concerns without unduly burdening food manufacturers. 

“A widespread consumer demand for mandatory COOL has never been shown. If consumers are truly desirous of country of origin information the market will deliver it,” NMA Executive Director Rosemary Mucklow said.

Not only is the mandatory program an unnecessary burden on processors and supermarkets, but it is also an ill-guided attempt to establish a national animal identification program. A separate program is already in the works at USDA to properly establish for national animal ID.

The over 300 organizations and companies representing the entire farm to table continuum strongly support the Food Promotion Act of 2004, because it provides for the voluntary country of origin labeling of meat, fish, and perishable agricultural products.

National Meat Association is a non-profit trade association. Since 1946, NMA has represented meat packers and processors, equipment manufacturers and food suppliers who provide services to the meat industry. The association has members throughout the United States, as well as in Canada, Australia and Mexico.


Visit the Statement on theProposed Voluntary Country-of-Origin Labeling Program from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Pork Producers Council, United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association, National Fisheries Institute, Produce Marketing Association, American Meat Institute, National Meat Association, Food Marketing Institute, National Grocers Association, and National Food Processors Association at:

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Jeremy Russell
National Meat Association
(510) 763-1533
[email protected]

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