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Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods

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The 2002 farm bill (section 10816 of P.L. 107-171) required retailers to provide country-of-origin labeling for fresh produce, red meats, peanuts, and seafood by September 30, 2004. However, Congress has twice postponed implementation for all but seafood; COOL now must be implemented by September 30, 2008. In the 110th Congress, supporters have introduced bills (H.R. 357; S. 404) to mandate COOL by September 30, 2007. Opponents of mandatory COOL believe that the private market, not government, should determine the need for COOL. This report will be updated if events warrant.