MANDATORY COUNTRY-OF-ORIGIN LABELING

* GOAL: TO ESTABLISH MANDATORY COUNTRY-OF-ORIGIN LABELING FOR MEAT, FRUIT AND VEGETABLES.

Meat must come from animals that are born, raised, slaughtered in U.S. to be labeled "Made in U.S.A."

Produce must be grown and processed in U.S. to be labeled "Made in U.S.A."

* THERE IS BIPARTISAN SUPPORT FOR COUNTRY-OF-ORIGIN LABELING.

S. 280, "Consumer Right To Know Act" by Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D,. originally cosponsored by Sens. Mike Enzi, R-Wy., Ben Nighthorse Campbell, R-Colo., and Bob Graham, D-Fla.

H.R. 1121, "Country of Origin Meat Labeling Act" by Rep Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., originally cosponsored by Reps. John Thune, R-S.D., and Mark Udall, D-Colo.

* CONSUMERS HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW WHERE THEIR FOOD IS PRODUCED.

We know where our T-shirts are made but not our T-bone steaks.

Consumers overwhelmingly support country-of-origin labeling. A survey by Wirthlin Worldwide found that 78 percent endorse labeling meat and meat products.

* LABELING HELPS FOOD SAFETY AND HEALTH OFFICIALS TRACE THE ORIGIN OF FOOD.

In the wake of BSE, foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and other infectious animal diseases spreading throughout the world, it is critically important to pass mandatory country-of-origin labeling immediately so consumers know where their food comes from.

* LABELING HELPS PROTECT THE INTEGRITY OF LIVESTOCK INDUSTRY.

U.S. farmers and ranchers are proud of the products they produce.

Labeling is a valuable marketing tool for farmers.

* WITHOUT LABELING CURRENT SYSTEM IS MISLEADING.

All meat processed in the U.S. must be inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

However, not all meat processed in the U.S. originates in the U.S.

Consumers are misled into thinking that the USDA inspection label means the meat originated in the U.S.

* OPPOSE VOLUNTARY LABELING OF IMPORTED BEEF.

Last year a petition was submitted to USDA that would establish a voluntary country-of-origin labeling for beef products.

This petition would allow imported cattle to be labeled as product of U.S., if they spend as few as 100 days in the U.S. prior to slaughter.

Small fraction of animal's life.

Only for beef, not for all meats or fruit and vegetables.

Misleading to consumers.

Texas Farmers Union, P.O. Box 738, Sweetwater, Tx 79556