IDFA joined the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Food Marketing Institute in sending a letter yesterday to U.S. senators, urging them to oppose Senator Al Franken's (D-MN) Dairy Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) Act. The bill, introduced April 14, would require dairy products sold to consumers to feature country-of-origin labeling.
Current law covers raw products - such as meat, produce and nuts - but exempts processed foods and dairy products.
"By applying new COOL requirements singularly to the dairy sector, the bill would isolate dairy products from all other packaged foods in supermarkets," the letter said. "What is more, exempting foods composed of non-dairy ingredients creates an illogical and uneven playing field with different sets of regulations for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to police and supermarkets to enforce."
IDFA remains opposed to any country-of-origin legislation, because it would increase food manufacturing and retailing costs by requiring new recordkeeping, tracking and reporting standards. It also would complicate existing food-labeling requirements.
The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Nutrition. No hearings on the bill have been scheduled.
For more information, contact Ruth Saunders, IDFA vice president of policy and legislative affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 220-3553.