Group sues Trader Joe’s over COOL

Group sues Trader Joe’s over COOL

By Lisa M. Keefe on 7/2/2014

A California organization head has filed a lawsuit in California against Trader Joe’s Co. over the retailer’s alleged noncompliance with country-of-origin labeling laws, particularly on meat products.

Joel D. Joseph, chairman of Made in the USA Foundation, sued in state Superior Court. He is seeking an injunction against Trader Joe’s and alleging the market is “selling meat and produce to consumers with ‘country of origin’ labels that are outright misleading and confusing,” Joseph said in a news release.

According to the release, Joseph sued after shopping at Trader Joe’s and seeing labels with multiple country-of-origin designations on spinach, lettuce, ground beef and rib eye steak. The labels, he says, are not compliant with USDA requirements and COOL laws.

“[C]onsumers are increasingly at risk to foodborne illnesses like e-coli and mad cow disease that are rampant in certain countries. Consumers may want to avoid food from certain countries and with Trader Joe’s misleading and confusing labeling with multiple countries listed on meat and produce, it’s almost impossible for consumers to make informed, intelligent choices to protect their health and their family’s health,” the release said.

The Made in the USA Foundation is a nonprofit created in 1989 to promote, domestically and internationally, products that are "Made in USA."