WASHINGTON -- A group of 10 food associations, representing virtually every fresh-food category affected by the pending country-of-origin labeling legislation, signed a statement describing proposed voluntary guidelines as "providing product origin information without burdening anyone with added costs."
tion for two years for most categories. In comments to the press, Daschle noted the recent controversial disclosure that the U.S. Department of Agriculture had been quietly issuing permits for Canadian beef imports and disregarding its own mad cow disease-related ban on such meat items. The united industry statement followed yesterday.
"Under this voluntary program, the labeling responsibility is placed in the hands of producers, processors and retailers who choose to participate," the statement read. "Ultimately, however, the choice is in the hands of consumers at the retail market meat and fish cases and in the fruit and produce aisles.