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Country of Origin Labeling Under Attack by Corporate Agribusiness as Farm Bill is Formulated

Hello all,

Please see the e-mail alone from the National Farmers Union below (The Cornucopia Institute is a collaborator with and proud member of the NFU).

If we want to know whether our food is raised by American farmers, meeting USDA/FDA standards, or is being imported from Third World countries with endemic levels of pollution, corruption and fraud (like China), we have to fight the agribusiness lobbyists and make sure that the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) is not once again delayed.

Please take the five minutes to read the message below and call your representatives in Washington!

Mark A. Kastel
The Cornucopia Institute
www.cornucopia.org

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Subject: COOL Attack -- ACTION NEEDED!

 Dear Farmers & Consumers:  The opponents of COOL are not taking a break from attempts to kill mandatory country-of-origin labeling.  We need help from your organizations and members today!

Please contact your members of congress ­ particularly those on the Agriculture committee and urge them to vote NO on the COOL amendment.

An amendment will be offered in the House Agriculture committee by Rep. Goodlatte, to do the following:

Establish a "herd" definition for cattle and hogs that says an animal imported into the U.S. will be considered "USA" unless it goes directly to slaughter;

Overturns mandatory produce COOL for voluntary and limits to 20 most frequently consumed varieties of raw fruits and vegetables;

Reducing fine to $1,000 after a 30-day window of opportunity for retailer to resolve mislabeling;

 If passed, this amendment will effectively kill mandatory COOL.

Read NFU's letter to the House of Representatives about the killer amendment:  http://www.nfu.org/wp-content/keep-cool-intact-to-house-071207.pdf

We have released a series of new COOL Facts one-page documents to the full House and Senate.  All documents can be found on our COOL website: http://www.nfu.org/issues/agriculture-programs/cool/

An action alert is posted on our website as well ­ please feel free to direct your members to it: http://capwiz.com/nfu/issues/alert/?alertid=9390086&PROCESS=Take+Action

 Talking Points: An amendment is expected to be offered to "gut" mandatory COOL.  I'm calling to urge your boss to vote against any such amendment.

Changing the "born-raised-slaughtered" standard of the 2002 law to a "U.S herd" definition that allows an animal from any country to become U.S. by spending 1 hour in a American feedlot is disingenuous and misleading.

Earlier this year, a coalition of more than 200 organziations, representing millions of Americans urged Congress to implement the COOL law ­ as is ­ as soon as possible.

Last week, Consumer Reports released a new survey showing 92 percent of Americans saying they want to know the country-of-origin of their food.

COOL opponents continue to argue that it is too difficult to implement COOL, despite USDA implementing the law for seafood more than 2 years ago. Seafood COOL has worked, not $1 in a fine has been issued against a retailer for non-compliance ­ USDA can fix ALL the problems it created in its proposed rule.

Will your boss vote against any amendment to "gut" COOL?

 Capitol Switchboard: 202-225-3121

If you gain information about how your members of Congress intend to vote in the Committee ­ please let me know.

Thanks for any/all help your organziations can provide!

Katy Ziegler
Legislative Director
National Farmers Union
400 N. Capitol Street, NW Suite 790
Washington, D.C. 20001
202-314-3103- direct
202-554-1654- fax
202-494-5365- cell
kziegler@nfudc.org
www.nfu.org