US consumers favour country-of-origin labelling

By Aidan Fortune

- Last updated on GMT

US consumers 'strongly support' COOL labelling, according to the report
US consumers 'strongly support' COOL labelling, according to the report
Almost nine out of 10 US consumers are in favour of country-of-origin labelling for fresh meat, according to a recent survey.

Research, released by the Consumer Federation of America, has shown that a large majority of Americans strongly favour requiring meat to be labelled with even more specific information about where the animals were born, raised and processed.

Eighty-nine percent of respondents either strongly or somewhat favoured requiring food sellers to indicate on the package label the country of origin of fresh meat they sell, while 88% of adults favoured, either strongly or somewhat, requiring food sellers to indicate on the package label the country or countries in which animals were born, raised and processed.

These results demonstrate that US consumers continue to strongly support country-of-origin labelling,​” said Thomas Gremillion, director of the Food Policy Institute at the Consumer Federation of America. “We urge the Administration to include country-of-origin labelling in its renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Canada and Mexico should agree to withdraw their lawsuit in the WTO [World Trade Organization] and allow the USDA [US Department of Agriculture] to once again require food sellers to provide this information.​”

Country-of-origin labelling​ had been required in the US up until the end of 2015, when the WTO determined that these requirements discriminated against Canadian and Mexican livestock.

Last month, The Ranchers-Cattlemen Legal Action Fund, United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF USA) and Cattle Producers of Washington (CPW) filed a lawsuit against the USDA​ in an attempt to force it to re-introduce country-of-origin labelling.

The lawsuit alleges USDA regulations, allowing beef and pork to be classified as “domestic products​” – even when those meat products were imported from other countries – confused consumers and harmed American farmers, as well as being in violation of the Meat Inspection Act which requires that meat products from animals born, raised and slaughtered in other countries, before being imported to the US, should include the country of origin.

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