WASHINGTON — A coalition of consumer organizations sent a letter to the 2013 Farm Bill Conference Committee members in support of Country-of-Origin Labeling, urging members of Congress to defend the law and reject any calls for changes.

As a longtime supporter of COOL, the National Farmers Union applauded the support of the consumer groups.

“We appreciate the support of our allied organizations named in the letter,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “Consumers have called for the information provided by COOL for some time and it is our responsibility as an industry to meet those demands.”

The Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, Food and Water Watch, National Consumers League and Public Citizen signed the letter.

The letter cited survey results released in May by the Consumer Federation of America that showed that 90 percent of Americans believe they have the right to know the country of origin of the fresh meat they purchase.

A 2008 poll from Consumers Union found that that 95 percent of U.S. adults agreed that COOL for products should always be available at the point of purchase.

“It is clear that calls for changes to the COOL law do not have the interests of our consumers in mind,” Johnson said.

“Changes to or a repeal of the law would do more harm than good to not only meat and poultry, but so many other industries. This is a widely-supported law and should remain as adopted by Congress in 2008.”