This is from a Washington Post article about USDA's revision to its country of origin labeling (COOL) measures, in response to a WTO ruling that the measures violate WTO obligations:
But the regulations, posted Friday by the Department of Agriculture, are the latest move in a trade dispute that has pitted U.S. consumer groups, which favor the labels, against free-trade advocates, who say the regulations are biased against cattle and pork from Canada and Mexico.
So, according to the article, "consumer groups" favor the labels. Ben Beachy of Global Trade Watch goes further in his comment on a post of mine: "90% of the U.S. public ... supports COOL."
I'm curious about what consumers think of all this. I haven't seen any of the consumer surveys; I'd love to hear more about them if anyone knows the details.
If someone is doing surveys of these issues, here's what I'd like to learn more about:
-- Are consumers in favor of origin labelling in the abstract, i.e., they simply state that they would like to know where their meat comes from?
-- Do consumers want government laws that requre origin labelling, or do they simply want companies to provide that information (as some already do)?
-- Did consumers support the COOL measures as they were originally drafted (i.e., the ones the panel and Appellate Body have already examined)? Did they understand how those labelling requirements worked?
-- Do consumers support the new COOL measures that require the provision of information on where animals were "born, raised and slaughtered"?
-- What information on meat processing do consumers want to see?