YONKERS, N.Y. — A poll suggesting 92% of Americans support country-of-origin labeling on food drew defensive responses from some of the law’s opponents Wednesday. The poll, released by Consumer Reports magazine here, revealed that consumers “have serious concerns about how and where their food was produced,” said Dr. Urvashi Rangan, senior scientist and policy analyst at Consumers Union, the publisher of the magazine. Consumers Union has called for immediate implementation of COOL, which would require seafood, beef, pork, lamb, produce and peanuts to carry labels detailing where they were born, grown and/or slaughtered. COOL was passed in 2003 and but has been delayed until Sept. 30, 2008, with the exception of seafood, which is already in place. On Wednesday the American Meat Institute, Washington, said the poll results underscore existing rules for imported meat and poultry enforced by the Department of Agriculture but dismissed the more onerous COOL legislation as “protectionist” policy that would increase costs without improving food safety.
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