As food recalls continue to make headlines, Americans may be paying more attention to where their food comes from.
Nearly three in four (74 percent) say its important to them to know the country of origin for the all types of products they buy, but even more85 percentsay knowing where their food comes from is important. But for the vast majority of Americans its about more than just wanting to know94 percent believe consumers have a right to know the country of origin of the foods they purchase, a new Zogby Interactive poll shows.
Just knowing what country a food comes from is no guarantee it will be safer than a food produced in the U.S., but nine in ten (90 percent) believe knowing the country of origin will allow consumers to make safer food choices.
One of the components in this years Farm Bill deals with expanding country of origin labeling beyond seafood to include meat, produce, and other foods and is currently under consideration by Congress. Most Americans strongly favor mandatory labeling 88 percent say they would like all retail foods to be labeled this way. This requirement is most supported by older adults, but significant majorities in all age groups said they would support this country of origin labeling effort.
But wanting to know and going out of their way to check where a product comes from are two different things. Checking the country of origin seems to be on the minds of consumers at least some of the time 37 percent said they check most of the time and 34 percent said they check occasionally. While 11 percent said they always make sure to check to see where a product comes from, 15 percent rarely do and 4 percent never check.
Despite overwhelming support for labeling, 5 percent disagree with mandatory country of origin labeling for foods. Of those, nearly two-thirds (63 percent) said compliance would be too costly and it would drive up food prices. Another 27 percent said it doesnt matter what country food comes from that is sold in the U.S., and 2 percent believe such labeling could be unfair to foreign competitors.