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About 200 farmers and ranchers from 29 states will be in Washington next week to ask Congress and the Administration to keep the country-of-origin labeling law on track. During National Farmers Union’s annual legislative fly-in, Sept. 8-10, agriculture producers nationwide will urge Congress to uphold funding for mandatory COOL, which will soon be considered in conference committee.

“This year, one of our organization’s top priorities is to make sure Congress keeps the funding for COOL and the Administration keeps the law’s original intent during the rulemaking process,” says NFU President Dave Frederickson. “Mandatory country-of-origin food labeling is a marketing tool for U.S. producers and an information tool for U.S. consumers.”

The COOL law, which was included in the 2002 Farm Bill, requires grocery stores to label fresh and frozen meats, fruits, vegetables, fish and peanuts with the country in which the product was grown, raised and processed.  The law is set to take effect September 2004.

The farmers and ranchers also will discuss solutions to low dairy prices. Additionally, they will stress the need to improve current trade negotiations.

National Farmers Union