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In this month’s Facts, Figures & The Future, Phil Lempert calls for the food industry to embrace Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) legislation.

“In its most vivid admission of food safety problems yet, the Chinese government announced just a week or so ago that it closed 180 food manufacturers, mostly small, unlicensed food plants with fewer than 10 employees,” Lempert writes. “Paraffin in bean vermicelli and carcinogenic malachite green in flour, candy, pickles, biscuits and melon seeds are typical of the unsafe elements found in China food production …

“All of this points to a food inspection and labeling system that needs fixing. Not only in China, but here in the United States. I have little doubt that this fall will finally bring about the long overdue COOL labeling regulations which should have been instituted as part of the 2004 Farm Bill.

“It's time the food industry embraces this effort, otherwise we risk continuing to erode the trust of our shoppers.”

Other F3 stories include:

• New research suggests that the number of consumers taking notice of the global climate change issue and demanding action is growing, and must be taken seriously. In fact, the survey says that global warming now ranks as the fourth major concern for global consumers behind only the economy, health, and job security. The survey found that two in five (42%) global online consumers believe governments should restrict companies' emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants. Two in five online consumers also said governments should invest in research to find environmentally friendly and energy-saving solutions.

• A look at a new innovation – cell phones that use Global Positioning Systems (GPS) technology so that shoppers can find out not just where they are on the map and how to get where they need to go, but also how to find specific products at nearby retail locations.

And, much more.

To get your copy of F3, go to:

F3 is a joint production of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), ACNielsen, and Phil Lempert.

(Full disclosure: MNB’s Kevin Coupe and Michael Sansolo are both contributors to F3.)
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