Some ag and consumer groups are pressing Congress to speed up rather than delay implementation of “country of origin” labeling for meat and other food products. But Iowa Congressman Jim Nussle, a republican from Manchester, isn’t wild about the proposal. Nussle says people think “country of origin” labeling will be the “be all and end all” solution to the Mad Cow scare and food safety issues. But Nussle says it will add cost to food “at a time when the economy’s struggling and people are having a hard time paying the bills.” Nussle says there must be a better way to track food for safety purposes. He says country of origin labeling “puts a lot more stress on our agricultural exports than it does to provide valuable information to consumers.” The U.S. House has already voted to delay country-of-origin labeling for two years. A recent Reuters survey found 76 percent of American farmers support mandatory country-of-origin labeling, but opponents of the program say it will encourage other countries to erect more barriers to American farm goods.
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