There has constantly been talk back and forth regarding food labeling laws in the United States. In 2002, the COOL bill was approved by congress. Country-of-origin-labeling is intended to give full disclosure to consumers about the meat products they buy, including how the animal was slaughtered, where it was raised and where it was born. Colin O’Neil, of the Center for Food Safety, pointed out that “consumers want more information, not less, about the products they’re buying and feeding their families. Labeling is not a matter of ‘if’ but a matter of ‘when’.”
However major opposition has risen against these new Federal Labeling Law by major U.S. meat processors (such as Tyson) as well as our neighbors in Canada and Mexico. The major meat processing companies complain of rising costs with the labeling laws, an “inefficient process” that will potentially “drive processors dependent on imports out of business and destroy the market,” according to The American Meat Institute. Canada and Mexico also strongly oppose these new laws, claiming that these laws will cause discrimination against their products and decrease the strength of their markets.
In 2012 alone, 7.7% of the total beef supply was imported. That’s more than 2.2 billion pounds of beef. Last year, Americans consumed 37.3 billions pound of chicken and 24.6 billion pounds of pork that was produced outside of the United States. According to a poll run by the New York Times, over “90% of respondents in a Consumer Union were in favor of COOL, while 93% of Americans supported labeling genetically engineered foods.” The people want and demand more information regarding the meat they purchase and consume on a daily basis. Meanwhile, the National Grocers Associate, Monsanto, DuPont and General Mills have already spent $60 million dollars in fighting and shutting down the proposal to label genetically modified foods.