A coalition of food industry groups is beginning to craft an alternative voluntary program to the proposed mandatory country-of-origin labeling law. The coalition met and representatives formed three separate work groups to come up with voluntary COOL rules for meat, produce and fish.

Prior to the passage of the COOL moratorium, six industry groups promised to develop a voluntary program to replace the current law. Coalition members included the National Pork Producers Association, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association, National Fisheries Institute, Food Marketing Institute and National Grocers Association.

The industry coalition hopes to have something ready to present to Congress in coming months. NPPC is committed to putting something together early this year and COOL will be discussed at Pork Forum in March.

Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) once again failed last week to introduce promised legislation to overturn the COOL moratorium. An aide said the introduction of COOL legislation is at the top of Daschle’s list of things to do when he returns from a Senate recess on Feb. 23.

The Pigsite.com