92% Of Americans Want Country Of Origin Labels On Food

According to a national survey conducted by Consumer’s Union, the non-profit organization that publishes Consumer Reports, 92% of Americans want country of origin labels on their food. Country of origin labels are required on all imported food, thanks to a 5 year old law, but that law has never been enforced.

Consumer’s Union also asked about several other labels, including “organic” and “natural.” 9 out of 10 of consumers polled by Consumer’s Union wanted the word “natural” to refer to meat that “comes from animals that were raised on a natural diet without drugs, chemicals or other artificial ingredients.” Currently the label “natural” refers to the processing methods used after the animal was slaughtered.

Food-Labeling Poll (PDF) [Consumers Union]

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  1. Doc Benway says:

    Can we please stop lawyers from writing the definitions of things. Natural should not be defined by the method of slaughter.

  2. banned says:

    It doesn’t matter what people want, the government only does what it wants. Laws are only there to look like they care.

  3. dbeahn says:

    Also in the news: Duh!

  4. Baz says:

    Sure, 92% of consumers may say they want country-of-origin labeling, but this is a toothless statistic. How many consumers ACTUALLY want this labeling – to the degree that they would invest personal time to make such a change possible? It’s one thing to respond to a survey, and entirely another thing to write or email an elected representative.

  5. TechnoDestructo says:

    I remember in the last story on this the beef industry guy saying oh how impossible that would be, what with ground beef potentially containing meat from so many sources!

    Orange juice containers already usually say “Contains juice from USA and/or Brazil” or somesuch. (BTW, if it says “or Brazil” it means definitely Brazil…you can taste the difference, Brazilian oranges are bitter, almost like grapefruit) The orange juice industry has been doing this for years, and it hasn’t been an onerous burden.

    If they aren’t sure where the ingredients come from, if it changes too rapidly to relabel every time, just list every POSSIBLE country.

    And if one of those possible countries is someplace that people don’t want their food coming from, well maybe you shouldn’t be buying from them.

  6. TechnoDestructo says:

    @rocnrule: The government doesn’t WANT anything. The government isn’t a person with WANTS, or even a group of people with consistent wants.

    The only thing those who make up the government want is to stay in government. They will act on behalf of the wants of those who got them into government or can keep them there. And who those people are and what those people want changes depending on how far their wants have been advanced (either they’re satisfied, or they go too far and other wants get stronger).

  7. miborovsky says:

    Well, personally I don’t buy any food without a country of origin label. If companies don’t put where their product is from, they don’t get my business. Their loss. So why should the government make any laws on this? Where’s personal responsibility gone?

  8. @miborovsky: Me either. And I only buy from countries with an acceptable set of pesticide restrictions.

  9. Mom2Talavera says:

    I want packaged foods containing GM(genetically modified) ingredients to be labeled as well.

  10. mrjimbo19 says:

    This would not be an issue if we trusted the testing methods of imported goods. This strikes me as a failure on all levels from not only the company exporting but also the control organizations in place.

  11. hoo_foot says:

    Country of origin labels wdon’t mean jack when the ingredients are coming from other countries. Take the recent pet food scandal–the food was made at a Canadian plant, but it was the Chinese ingredients caused problems. Thus, the label would have read “Made in Canada” and consumers would have still be unaware that there was Chinese junk in the food.