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Talking Point

Country-of-origin labeling: Not so COOL? – your views

22-May-2009 asked readers for their views on US country-of-origin labeling (COOL) in light of Canada’s World Trade Organization complaint.

Below is a selection of attributed responses:

“I feel that as a consumer COOL is a good thing, I want to know where my products come from, if Mexico & Canada are worried it tells me that they think people think their products are of lower quality and they need to correct their image not make us change our laws.”

Audrey Dittmar, Quiet Light Communications, Illinois, USA

“COOL is just another step in the direction of Protectionism… spelling disaster from farmer to consumer. Open and fair competition has and is the only driver for effectiveness, efficiency, honesty and better ways for bringing products to the market place. Further government control of the food chain will lead to greater inefficiencies from lack of competition which will drive higher consumer prices and food shortages.

As a consumer I demand freedom of choice when buying farm products: best quality, selection and price…regardless if it is produced in Canada or elsewhere!

‘COOL’ is not cool…it should be put on ice – immediately.”

Kathy Barr Wakefield, President, Lion Enterprises, Missouri, USA

“Typical gov't "help". I (lowly consumer) will buy food products from US or Canada, but not Mexico or China. Label on meat in Wal Mart names all 3 as possible countries of origin. How is that helpful? Yes, we need labels, but specific ones.”

Patricia Laffin, consumer, Oklahoma, USA

“I don't think the labeling rules go far enough. I see lots of products like meat labeled Product of Mexico, United States, or Canada which really doesn't tell me what I want to know. The US bans use of many pesticides that Mexico does not for example.”

John Trotter, engineer, USA

“This is at least a wise US decision. This should be a rule all over the world. I think that if you oppose this US demand, you are hiding something. Consumers must have their choice to buy food from wherever they want to, including the "power" to not contribute [to] nations that are not treating well their citizens, or that are not democratic nations. I wouldn't buy meat from Zimbabwe.

It is my choice, my right, my money and I want to know to where it is going to.

“I do approve this rule. All labels MUST have in a place easy to be find, the origin of the product.”

Glauro Campello, EUROBRAZ Consultoria Nacional e Internacional Ltda, Brazil

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