Country of Origin Labels now required - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Country of Origin Labels now required

by Danielle Wagner

WATERLOO (KWWL) The USDA is taking action for labeling most meats, fresh fruits, vegetables-- even nuts. Under a new federal law, the country of origin can now be found at supermarkets and large stores.

Cabbage, cantaloupe, asparagus, broccoli. Where does all the produce come from? Now, when you go to the grocery store, all you have to do is read the labels.

"If they're in a package, the package has where it came from on it. If it's not in a package, but there's a sticker, the sticker is supposed to have where it came from. If it doesn't have either of those, we have to provide one," said Hometown Foods Manager Jill Eilderts.

Shoppers we spoke with said it will be nice to have the information.

"People have a right to know what they're getting into when they buy their groceries," said John Polk of Waterloo

But Polk said knowing the country of origin probably won't change how he shops.

"As long as the quality and the health risks, it doesn't matter," said Polk.

Besides produce, meat at Hometown Foods is also labeled, but not as specifically.

U.S. AG Secretary Tom Vilsack would like labels to include where the animal was born, raised, slaughtered and processed. But the meat industry says that labeling is up to each company.

Hometown Foods Store Manager Jill Eilderts said so far, customers don't seem too concerned with the labels, but it's nice to have it available.

"The people who care, it will be there for them," she said.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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