New Legislation Requires Labeling Food's Country of Origin - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/30/08

New Legislation Requires Labeling Food's Country of Origin

Remember the recent salmonella scare that ended up blaming tainted peppers from Mexico? Does it make you wonder now when you buy produce where it came from? Well, starting Wednesday, you won't have to wonder because according to new legislation, it should be written on most of the foods you buy.

"Our suppliers knew it was coming, just didn't know exactly what the form or the time frame necessarily would be. They started taking steps sometime ago to get their products in compliance," says Eddie Owens with United Supermarkets.

The new law COOL, which stands for country of origin label requires manufacturers to disclose the origin of many foods, including meats, fresh fruits, vegetables and certain nuts. Most consumers are excited, but there are some concerns.

Consumer Vanessa Ireland says, "We need to know what we are putting into our bodies especially with all the outbreaks and containments coming from different countries.

"We're not opposed to other countries bringing their product in. We're just saying join us, put your name on it, be proud of what you produce," says Tom Buis, president of the National Farmer's Union.

But that brings to mind the biggest complaint hat labeling the origin might *imply* that imported foods are not safe. Also, retailers argue this new law will cost wholesalers more and ultimately raise food prices.

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