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The US House of Representatives voted last week to block Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) regulations for meat, which would have required that as of September 2006, meat suppliers would have had to put such labels on meat products.

Technically, the move by the House prevents the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) from spending any money to enforce the COOL regulations. The US Congress already had agreed to postpone the regulations from 2004 to 2006, but this takes the Congressional move against COOL to the next level.

COOL opponents say that the regulations are not wanted by US consumers, and that they will make US meat less competitive with imported products by making them more costly.

The US Senate still has to vote on the spending bill in which the House stipulations are contained.
KC's View:
Hard to imagine that this is a good idea. We know that COOL regulations will not create a perfect world, and that the way they are currently written, they probably create too much of a burden for retailers. Some sort of modification probably is needed…but we still think that COOL regulations make sense in the long run, especially in a climate where consumers may need reassurance about the foods they are eating.

“Readiness is all,” as Shakespeare’s Hamlet once said.