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The California Grocers Association issued a statement last Friday praising Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s veto of a mandatory country-of-origin labeling bill that would have required retailers selling
unprocessed beef to ensure there is a country-of-origin label (COOL) on each product.

“We applaud the Governor for vetoing what would have been a very costly program to consumers, retailers and government to implement,” said CGA President Peter Larkin. The CGA had opposed it on the grounds that it would be costly for retailers to comply, expensive for the state to administer, and because COOL already is being dealt with at the federal level.

In the letter explaining his veto, Schwarzenegger wrote, "The requirements of this bill demand a network of tracking from the rancher, to the processor, to the importer, to the wholesaler, to the retailers that would be unworkable, costly and impossible to enforce while providing no improvement in public health protection or additional benefits to the consumer."
KC's View:
We just find it funny to hear the words “public health protection” coming from a man who has left so many bodies – human and otherwise – in his wake during his long movie career.

Maybe we just have to get over it.

The California bill doesn’t seem like a sensible move because it will only wreak havoc if different states have different COOL standards. But that doesn’t mean that we agree that all COOL should be mandatory. There should be federal standards, and the burden, we think, should be on the manufacturers and suppliers.