A broad coalition of agriculture, consumer and religious groups, has united in opposition of voluntary country-of-origin food labeling in a pending spending package. The coalition, known as Americans for COOL, says it represents more than 50 million U.S. citizens.

The group has sent a letter to Senate and House Appropriations members and leadership as follows:

Dear Chairmen and Ranking Members:

As final work is completed to wrap up the Fiscal Year 2005 appropriations
process, we strongly urge you to oppose any amendment to weaken or repeal
mandatory country-of-origin labeling. Recent rumors have revealed
that opponents of mandatory COOL believe an omnibus bill will provide them
with the opportunity to repeal the law and replace it with a voluntary
program.

American consumers and producers have time and again voiced their united
support for mandatory COOL.  Those involved with the production of meat,
fruits, vegetables, peanuts and seafood remain committed to mandatory
COOL as do more than 80 percent of consumers. Replacing the 2002 Farm Bill
mandatory COOL program with a voluntary program does not and will not
provide consumers the benefit of knowing from where their food comes, nor
does it allow U.S. producers a new marketing opportunity.

Again, the more than 50 million members we collectively represent urge you
to oppose any attempt to replace mandatory COOL with a voluntary program
within the FY2005 omnibus appropriations bill.

Sincerely,
ACOL Organizations

Alabama Farmers Federation
Alaska Farmers Union
American Agriculture Movement
American Corn Growers Association
American Corn Growers Association (Nebraska)
American Grassfed Association
American Meat Goat Association
Arkansas Farmers Union
California Dairy Campaign
California Farmers Union
Cattle Producers of Washington
Center for Rural Affairs (Nebraska)
Citizen's Action Coalition
CJD Foundation
Community Alliance with Family Farmers
Consumer Federation of America
Consumer Federation of California
Dakota Resource Council (North Dakota)
Dakota Rural Action (South Dakota)
Family Farm Defenders
Florida Farmers, Inc.
Florida Tomato Exchange
Grant County Cattlemen's Association (Washington)
Idaho Rural Council
Illinois Farmers Union
Independent Cattlemen's Association of Texas
Indiana Campaign for Economic Justice
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement
Iowa Farmers Union
Kansas Cattlemen's Association
Kansas Farmers Union
Kansas Hereford Association
Kansas National Farmers Organization
Kit Carson County Cattlemen's Association (Colorado)
Livestock Marketing Association
Michigan Farmers Union
Minnesota Farmers Union
Missouri American Agriculture Movement, Inc
Missouri Farmers Union
Missouri Rural Crisis Center
Missouri Stockgrower's Association
Montana Farmers Union
Montana Cattlemen's Association
National Association of Counties
National Association of Farmer Elected Committees
National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture
National Catholic Rural Life Conference
National Consumers League
National Environmental Trust
National Environmental Trust, Marine Program
National Family Farm Coalition
National Farmers Organization
National Farmers Union
Nebraska Farmers Union
Nebraska Grange
Nebraska Livestock Marketing Association
Nebraska Women Involved in Farm Economics
Nevada Live Stock Association
New Mexico Cattle Growers' Association
North Carolina Contract Poultry Growers Association
North Dakota Farmers Union
North Dakota Livestock Marketing Association
Northern Plains Resource Council
Ohio Farmers Union
Oregon Livestock Producer Association
Organization for Competitive Markets
Organized Seafood Association of Alabama, Inc.
Pennsylvania Farmers Union
Perkins County Livestock Improvement Association (South Dakota)
Platte County Farm Bureau (Nebraska)
Powder River Basin Resource Council (Wyoming)
Public Citizen
R-CALF United Stockgrowers of America
Rocky Mountain Farmers Union
Rural Vermont
Social Concerns/Rural Life Office of the Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City
South Dakota Farmers Union
South Dakota Stockgrowers Association
Southeast Wyoming Cattle Feeders Association
Southern Colorado Livestock Association
Southern Research and Development Corporation
Southern Shrimp Alliance
Southwestern Colorado Livestock Association
Soybean Producers of America
Spokane County Cattle Producers (Washington)
Steven's Country Cattlemen's Association (Washington)
Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
Utah Farmers Union 
Washington Farmers Union
Western Colorado Congress
Western Organization of Resource Councils
Western Sustainable Agriculture Working Group
Wisconsin Farmers Union
Women Involved in Farm Economics

Americans for COOL