Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) proposed an amendment to the Iraq war supplemental appropriations bill that would have moved the implementation date for mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL) to Sept. 30, 2007, a year earlier than current law. But the amendment was ruled out of order, though it may resurface during the upcoming farm-bill debate.

The Food Marketing Institute (FMI), however, says mandatory COOL for seafood, which was enacted last year, failed to deliver the promised benefits. FMI says COOL hasn't increased sales of U.S. seafood, while the supermarket industry's cost to comply with the law is up to “10 times higher” than USDA's estimate.

FMI said, “Proponents of mandatory COOL are nonetheless urging Congress to implement the law for produce, meat and peanuts sooner than Sept. 30, 2008. This move would be extremely unwise given the industry's 2½ years of experience labeling seafood under this law.”