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National poll proves consumers want to keep COOL

National Farmers Union (NFU) today released the results of a national survey that shows consumers want country-of-origin labeling (COOL) and prefer U.S.-labeled food, as well as willing to pay more for it.

NFU President Dave Frederickson, along with U.S. Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., announced the poll results during a conference call with members of the media today. The poll, conducted by Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates, Inc., found that consumers overwhelmingly support country-of-origin labeling.

The poll, which was conducted Jan. 12–14, surveyed 900 U.S. likely voters from across the nation. The following questions were asked:

Do you think food should be labeled with country of origin information?
— Yes, it should be labeled with country-of-origin information. = 82 percent
— No, it shouldn’t be labeled with country-of-origin information. = 15 percent
— Don’t know. = 2 percent

As a consumer, would you be more or less inclined to buy food produced in the United States?
— More inclined to buy food produced in the United States. = 85 percent
— Less inclined to buy food produced in the United States. = 2 percent
— Doesn’t make a difference. = 11 percent
— Don’t know. = 1 percent

Would you be willing to pay a few cents more for food products grown and/or raised in the U.S.?
— Yes, willing to pay a few cents more. = 81 percent
— No, won’t pay a few cents more. = 15 percent
— Don’t know. = 4 percent

“This poll proves what we have known all along: consumers want country-of-origin food labeling,” said John Stencel, president of Rocky Mountain Farmers Union. “The poll results also shows that COOL would serve as a valuable marketing tool for U.S. farmers and ranchers, as 81 percent of the consumers surveyed said they would be willing to pay a few cents more for U.S.-labeled food.”

Rocky Mountain Farmers Union will be carrying this message to senators on Jan. 20 as members of the organization are in Washington for a one-day grassroots fly-in hosted by NFU. A group of nearly 100 farmers and consumers will be asking the Senate to oppose the omnibus appropriations bill as long as it contains a two-year delay for implementing mandatory COOL.