business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Consumer Federation of California has called for statewide regulations that would require country-of-origin labeling (COOL) for all meat sold there; simultaneously, a legislative committee started consideration of a bill that would require COOL for all meat products.

Wyoming, North Dakota and Louisiana all have such requirements in place, according to the consumer organization.

In addition to being a response to the first discovery of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), better known as mad cow disease, on US soil last December, the group said that it was concerned that Safeway was selling Canadian beef despite the fact that that nation has not banned the feeding of cow blood to calves, a practice that is believed to enable the spread of the malady.

"Statements questioning the safety of our products are completely untrue," said Safeway spokesman Brian Dowling. "We source our beef products from reputable suppliers who adhere to the highest standards for safety."

“We are not charging anyone with breaking the law,” responded Richard Holober, a spokesman for the consumer group. “They are currently selling beef products that we believe should be labeled a product of Canada so the consumer can be informed of what they are purchasing.”
KC's View:
Sure, it’s a pain. Sure, it’s setting a precedent that could cause problems down the road.

But label the damned meat. Full disclosure is the only disclosure that’s worth anything.