My official Public Comments on the Country-Of-Origin Labeling (COOL) voluntary labeling provision to be included in the final Farm Bill

 

August 9, 2002, public comment deadline date.

July 28, 2002

Barry L. Carpenter, Deputy Administrator AMS Livestock and Seed Program USDA Stop 0249 1400 Independence Ave., SW Washington, DC 20250-0249 Fax: 202-720-3499 E-mail: cool@usda.gov

Mr. Carpenter:

This email in its entirety is to be entered into the record as my official public comment. I thank you in advance for placing me on the list of those to be notified of all stages in the implementation of this standard.

I wish for those who have been sent from all fifty states to acreage within the Washington, D.C. Beltway, to know that all those who understand the vital nature of COUNTRY Of Origin Labeling (NOT "continent" of origin labeling) are not farmers, ranchers and commercial fishermen. All of us ARE, however, CONSUMERS.

As such, we are cognizant of the fact that our health, Yea! Our very lives depend upon the quality of the foods we consume each day.

The recent scandals involving the huge meat processors (ConAgra and others) further underpins my stoicism and resolve.

While Ms. Whitman may labor under the assumption that COOL labeling is difficult to implement, surely some rabbi could explain to her how simple it is to render items "Kosher." How can Country Of Origin Labeling be any more complicated than that?

While I am not involved in the growing and supplying of foods to the shelves of the nation's markets, I do have a working knowledge of how these items get to their destination: for 27 years I was a career truck driver, amassing 3.1 million safe-driving miles. For 20% of that time, my work was in hauling produce, frozen foods and meat. Therefore, this writer knows of what she speaks.

The standards in America by which we grow our foodstuffs are higher than in other countries; that is precisely why we MUST have COOL labeling, the sooner, the better.

Transit time for produce and meat that is grown in, for example, Argentina, necessitates the use of preservatives and other chemicals that are used to 'preserve the freshness' of items that can never be as good as those raised closer to home. The chemicals that have been outlawed for up to forty years in this country, are still in common use in other countries.

While it may be more convenient to the 'instant gratification' lifestyles of many of today's consumers, the cumulative toxins that do not manifest themselves for a decade or two are still there in the imported produce and meats that the huge producers consider to be their 'bread and butter.'

Personally, I'd rather pay more for locally grown food than have it shipped from Timbuktu and 'glowing in the dark' with its toxic cocktail of poisons.

The COOL labeling of Made in America (NOT 'the Americas') cannot arrive any too soon, in this lady's studied opinion. COOL-labeled beef, pork, lamb, fish, perishable ag commodities and peanuts will be a welcome sight to American consumers!

Miss Julie Kay Smithson 213 Thorn Locust Lane London, OH 43140-8844 1-740-857-1239

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Bardon v Northern Pac R Co. 12 S CT 856, 145 US 535, 538 36L, ED 806 - ‘It is well settled that all land to which any claim or rights of others is attached does not fall within the designation of public lands.’ United States Supreme Court Decision

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