Tuesday, February 20, 2007, by Tom Steever, Brownfield Radio News Network
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editor's note... the views stated in this article are those of Bruce Knight, USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs and do not reflect the opinions of the Center for Rural Affairs... John Crabtree, Blog for Rural America editor.
Mandatory country of origin labeling is moving toward implementation over the next year and a half, but with some changes, according to Bruce Knight, USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs.
“I’ll be going through things to see if there’s options for flexibility or not,” Knight told Brownfield Tuesday in Jefferson City, Missouri.
Whether people embrace the issue or not, Knight says those who are on middle ground are rare, and most do not like the original proposed rule because of its exemptions of poultry and retail food service items.
“I want to re-launch that rule making process, I want to go through a robust economic analysis (and) figure out how to make this law that’s on the books workable and implementable by September 30, 2008,” Knight said.
The administration stance is that COOL should be voluntary and market driven, according to Knight, however he says consumers are not willing to voluntarily pay for a “grown-in-the-U.S.” label. “The debate will continue,” said Knight. “It is law, however, and we will move forward and implement that law.
Agree? Disagree? Post a comment here or contact John Crabtree, firstname.lastname@example.org
I encourage those that disagree with Under Secretary Knight to call him at 202-720-4256 and let him know.
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