To COOL or not to COOL: Should origin labeling be repealed?

11/29/2011 10:46:00 AM
Tom Karst

I hope the retail industry doesn't advocate once again for a "voluntary" country of origin labeling scheme. That won't get the job done.  The more honest approach would be a push for outright repeal.

I'm curious what readers think. I posed the question to the Fresh Produce Industry Discussion Group: 

Should the U.S. country of origin labeling law be scrapped or revised?

So far, mixed feelings:

John writes:


Are we serious about saving tax dollars and reducing the size of government? Repeal COOL. Don't spend a dime on a phone call to Geneva to defend it. We now have trace back and QR codes, right? Unlike when COOL was implemented a few years ago, a consumer who wants to know can point his Android at a QR code and know the latitude, longitude and atlitude of the farm,ranch or fishery that produced the product. .

But Kaycie responds:

Working in produce, I have to say the law is challenging in some aspects, however, there are many farms/packers/shippers that still don't even label items (or labels don't stay on) - I would say only relying on a QR code to provide all information for consumers is not realistic - in addition, many of our organic buyers don't want ANYthing stuck on their produce - for them,  COOL signage is the best way to help them identify source



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