Petition to Urge COOL Protection Garners More than 35,000 Signatures

Petitions supporting strengthened Country-of-Origin Labeling rules and demanding that the integrity of COOL be protected in the face of World Trade Organization scrutiny garnered 35,600 signatures. National Farmers Union, R-CALF USA, Western Organization of Resource Councils and the consumer group Food and Water Watch delivered electronic petitions to USDA on the recently proposed COOL rules as part of the regulatory comment period that ends this week. NFU President Roger Johnson says the outpouring of support for COOL makes it clear that USDA is doing the right thing by proposing strengthened and more informative labels.

Food and Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter says people have the right to know where they food they feed their families comes from. Hauter says the proposed COOL rules significantly improve the disclosure of information to consumers. R-CALF CEO Bill Bullard says the tens of thousands of petitioners confirm that COOL is not a special interest issue - but a fundamental right for consumers. He says Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack should promptly finalize these rules that protect the integrity of country-of-origin labels.

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