Country of origin labeling
ST. PAUL (April 29, 2013) – Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) President Doug Peterson recently returned from the World Farmers Organisation’s (WFO) General Assembly in Nigata, Japan.
“The purpose of the WFO is to bring together farmers from all over the world to discuss policies, practices and practicalities of farming,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. “We may come from different parts of the world but the goals, struggles and victories remain the same. Farmers strive to produce the best quality product they can.”
The WFO adopted its first policy on international trade and among its key policy objectives was the need for country-of-origin labeling requirements that allow countries to distinguish their products without distorting trade.
According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, 57 countries, including Canada and Mexico, require some form of country-of-origin labeling for food. These countries account for 94 percent of U.S. trading activity for food and animals.
“It is not a matter of if we are going to trade with other countries,” said Peterson. “It is a matter of how we trade, and having Farmers Union at the table when international trade is being discussed was beneficial to farmers across rural America.”
St. Paul (March 8, 2012) – Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) members return from the National Farmers Union (NFU) Convention held in Omaha, Nebraska.
“The National Farmers Union Convention is important because it is a great display of grassroots policy-making,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. “National Farmers Union members from throughout the country decide policies important to farmers, and give direction to Congress.”
Farmers Union delegates re-elected President Roger Johnson and Vice President Claudia Svarstad and passed special orders of business relating to investment priorities in the 2012 Farm Bill, the Market-Driven Inventory System, Country-of-Origin Labeling, dairy, beginning farmer programs, the beef checkoff, and cuts to rural U.S. Postal Service offices. You can view each Special Order here, http://nfu.org/policy-nfu/special-orders-of-business.
Members heard from numerous speakers, including U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Reps. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., and Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb., and Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis.
(January 14, 2009) - More and more of the food offered for sale in the US is produced elsewhere and shipped into the country. Typical is a package of whole yellow and green beans that we saw in a local grocery store in late December. On the back of the package were the words "PRODUCT OF CAN USA CHN."
Until recently we gave little thought to the origin of our food because most of it was produced in the US and subject to national regulations on the use of pesticides and the timing between the last pesticide use and harvest.
Perhaps naively, we assumed that food products coming into the US were subject to inspections to assure that the products did not contain pesticide residue levels above those required of US producers or evidence of pesticides that are banned for use in the US. Deep in our hearts we wanted to believe that even though we suspected that the opposite was true.
Not long ago there was a rash of dead pets poisoned by melamine that was introduced into the pet food as a part of one of the ingredients-wheat gluten. The wheat gluten was imported into the US from China where it was deliberately tainted with melamine to give the false appearance of having a higher protein level.