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House Subcommittee Nixes COOL Funding

A House of Representatives Appropriation Subcommittee on Agriculture has voted to ban funding of enforcement for the mandatory country-of-origin labeling law.

During markup of the fiscal year 2004 spending bill, Chairman Henry Bonilla (R-TX) offered an amendment barring the Agriculture Department (USDA) from implementing the COOL law for meat and meat products.

The subcommittee also moved to:

  • Provide full funding for food safety inspection programs administered by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, negating any proposals for industry funding of user fees.
  • Maintain full funding for USDA’s Agricultural Research Service at the fiscal year 2003 level of $1.99 million. The subcommittee boosted funding for research conducted at the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service to $894,000, an increase of $94,000 over the previous fiscal year.
  • Provide full funding of $125 million requested for the Market Access Program.

The spending measures must still go to the full House Appropriations Committee before going to the House floor for approval.