Archive for December, 2013

Coalition for a Prosperous America’s California Chapter Celebrates the Outlook for the Future

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

The California Chapter of the Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) held their annual dinner in San Diego on January 11th at the Del Mar Hilton to look back on this year’s work and ahead to the coming year, as well as honor those who have helped make that work successful. Nearly 80 attendees joined me in showing our appreciation to Senator Mark Wyland for being the co-host of the well-attended “Manufacturing in the Golden State–Making California Thrive” economic summit last February. Unfortunately, co-host Assemblymember Toni Atkins was unable to be present. Assemblyman Tim Donnelly and County Supervisor Dave Roberts attended along with staff representing Congresswoman Susan Davis, Congressman Darrell Issa, Assemblyman Brian Jones, and Assemblyman Rocky Chavez.

I shared how I became involved with CPA, which is a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization established in 2007 as a coalition of manufacturing, farming, ranching, and labor to fix the U.S. trade deficit and the economy. CPA uniquely joins these distinct groups and focuses on both grass roots and Washington, D. C. lobbying efforts. CPA educates business, organization and political leaders about the economic harm caused by the trade deficit, methods to correct the deficit, and the need to develop and implement a national strategy to produce more in the U.S. so jobs and the taxes they create stay in the U. S.

When I was researching and writing the chapter “What is being done now to save American manufacturing?” for the first edition of my book in 2008, I found many trade and professional organizations that were focused on a particular issue important to their industry or profession, but there didn’t seem to be any collaboration between the organizations to support or oppose issues that affected American manufacturers. The two most powerful organizations, the National Association of Manufacturers and the U. S. Chamber of Congress seemed to be controlled by the large multinational corporations whose position on various issues were at odds with those of smaller American-only manufacturing corporations.

After my book was published in 2009, I met Ian Fletcher, author of Free Trade Doesn’t Work:  What should replace it and why, and he introduced me to CPA when he became their Sr. Economist in early 2011. I realized this was just the kind of organization I had been looking for and started participating in their member-at-large monthly conference calls to share what we were each doing to work on issues adversely affecting American manufacturing.

I volunteered to help CPA put on a Smart Trade Conference on March 28, 2012, and one of the people that attended was Donna Cleary, Field Rep for State Senator Mark Wyland. She asked CPA to facilitate putting on a manufacturing summit in the fall. Because of the national election, we postponed the summit to February 2013, which gave us more time to solicit partners and sponsors. Our partner list became the “who’s who” of organizations in San Diego, and the summit was very successful. In addition to being a bi-partisan event, what made it different was that we broke into small groups after the main presentations and conducted “pair wise” voting on issues to come up with the top two issues: California regulations and the need for a national manufacturing strategy.

We formed a Manufacturing Task Force and produced a report that we disseminated to all of the attendees and subsequently presented to our Congressional delegation. We also presented CPA position papers on the trade deficit, currency manipulation, County of Origin labeling, Border Adjustable Taxes, and “Fast Track” Authority for the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (a trade and global governance agreement being negotiated by the U.S. with eleven Pacific Rim nations).

We sponsored a viewing of the film “Death by China” in September, which clearly shows that we are in a trade war with China that we are losing, and American companies aren’t competing against Chinese companies, but the Chinese government itself.

The next speaker was Mike Dolan, Legislative Representative for the Teamsters, who said, “If CPA didn’t exist, we’d have to invent it.” His basic point was that, based on his long experience working on the Hill and in the field for Fair Trade (fighting expansion of the flawed and failed NAFTA/WTO model), we can win the current battles of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Fast Track if and only if we build and maintain a strong bipartisan mobilization. He called the TPP “NAFTA on steroids.” He doesn’t see a path to victory next year on sensible trade policy without the Coalition for a Prosperous America and the constituencies it represents — small business, particularly in industries that are sensitive to trade fluctuations, family farmers and ranchers, working families and “trade patriot” activists including the Tea Party cadres.

Bill Bullard, CEO of R-CALF USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America) was the next speaker. He said they joined the Coalition because their industry was being unfavorably impacted by current U. S. trade policies and unfair trade practices by our trading partners. He said, “The number of privately owned cattle and sheep ranches has been going down dramatically since 1994 when NAFTA went into effect and accelerated after China became part of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2000. The size of the beef and sheep herd has been decreasing every year, while imports of beef, lamb, and mutton have been increasing.” Shockingly, he revealed that fast food restaurants are not required to disclose the origins of their beef and even when restaurants say the beef is “U.S. Inspected,” it is as likely as not to be imported. Their industry especially needs the government to provide consumer package labeling to show where meat and livestock was born, raised and slaughtered and to reverse the current policy of lowering U.S. health and safety standards just to facilitate more imported meat.

CPA President Michael Stumo presentation was “A Prosperity Strategy for America,” in which he stated:  “We are convincing Congress that we need “net exports,” not merely more exports, to be a successful trading and producing nation. In 2011, our trade deficit shaved an astounding 4% from overall U. S. GDP. We should have a national goal to grow manufacturing back up to 20% of GDP rather than 11%.

Supply chains are the lifeblood of our economy, and all tiers of suppliers to the OEMs are important. They produce the jobs, the job multipliers, the wealth, the innovation, and the intellectual property of a successful developed economy. Those in Washington who are pushing “global supply chains” are really pushing offshoring of our supply chain. We need a strategy of acquiring, keeping, and growing “domestic supply chains” for a strong America.

We need to stop offshoring our manufacturing jobs and the taxes they create to safeguard our economic strength, our democracy and our constitutional republic. The globalization agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership are only 15% about tariffs and quotas and 85% about non-trade topics. These other topics include financial regulation, taxes, food and product safety, product labeling, government procurement of domestic supplies, and other matters. These globalization deals transfer the authority of Congress and states over these domestic policy issues to unelected international tribunals of foreign trade lawyers.

The old way of manufacturing and labor working separately for their interests no longer works. These issues are a macro problem for our country and affect all Americans. That’s why manufacturers, farmers, ranchers and workers must work together.

It is working. A large part of Congress signed a letter opposing Fast Track trade authority because of sovereignty and economic issues. Leadership on important committees is talking about net exports rather gross exports. A majority of the House and Senate signed a letter calling for effective protections against foreign currency manipulation in future international agreements. We need to win. Vince Lombardi said ‘winning isn’t everything… it’s the only thing.’ We can win these issues by expanding our membership of individuals, companies, and organizations and expanding from eight state chapters to at least 25 chapters.”

In the wrap-up presentation, Dave Frengel, Director of Government Relations, Penn United Technologies, a precision tool making company, said, “We have 600 employees today, but if our government had been standing up for us against China’s unfair trade practices, we would have 1200 employees, most in family-sustaining jobs with good benefits. Unfair trade affects the entire U.S. supply-chain, not just our company. Our government has been turning its back on production of food and manufactured goods. Our precision tooling and manufacturing industry, which is critical to America’s industrial economy, is a third of what it was before this era of bad U.S. trade policy began. The resulting loss of jobs is huge.”

He continued, “When I was asked by my boss to “fix trade” 11 years ago, we tried working within the National Association of Manufacturers, but our voice and that of other American-only manufactures was ignored. We realized that we needed to join not only with manufacturers and concerned citizens, but with farmers, ranchers and workers to win. We realized that the mission would not be accomplished through existing organizations – we needed a new organization to get the job done. That is why we were a founding member of CPA.

For nearly seven years now, CPA has been holding events all over the nation to raise awareness and mobilize local leaders around trade reform issues. CPA members and staff made over 200 legislative visits this past year. The credibility and influence of CPA is growing and our trade reform message is becoming more convincing as we continue to have crucial conversations with a growing circle of trade policy leaders in Washington, D. C.

We are opening new doors with trade negotiators inside the Obama Administration, the House Ways and Means Committee, and the Senate Finance Committee. Our efforts helped gain massive Congressional opposition to Fast Track trade authority and in support of our constitution. Our efforts helped gain a majority of Senate and House support for effective currency manipulation provisions in all future trade deals.

The Chinese will negotiate forever without changing their predatory trade strategies. We need protection from those who cheat us, which requires strong enforcement of international trade rules by our government. We can compete against foreign companies, but not against foreign governments that rig markets to cheat us out of our share of markets. The Coalition for a Prosperous America works for trade reform that delivers prosperity and security to America, its citizens, factories, farms, and working people. The solutions that CPA focuses on will benefit those who make and grow things here.”

In conclusion, he stated, “We are gaining more GOP support, more Democrat support, more Tea Party support, more citizen support, and more producer support. This year, we’re starting to win – because of the growth in size and influence of the Coalition for a Prosperous America. We need to get stronger. We need you to consider joining CPA as an individual or a company member or to make a tax deductible donation to the CPA Education Fund.”

Bad U. S. trade policy is a major cause of California’s economic crisis. Offshoring has cost California hundreds of thousands of its manufacturing jobs. Family members lost good jobs; communities declined; property values plummeted. We Californians know that we need a smarter U.S. trade strategy.

As a fledgling chapter, we are already influencing the trade policy positions of San Diego’s Congressional delegation, but need to grow to influence the other 48 Representatives and our two Senators to support better trade deals that will grow our economy. This is not a Republican issue nor a Democratic issue, but an American issue, and they must vote right to properly represent California. We need to get stronger and grow to accomplish our goals. We need your involvement and financial support to make a difference. Please contact me at to participate in the California Chapter.

Innovation Thrives in San Diego

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

At a time when some pundits are saying that innovation is lagging in the United States, the annual CONNECT Most Innovative Product Awards luncheon on Friday, December 6th demonstrated that innovation is thriving in San Diego, California. More than 700 attended the awards ceremony to recognize cutting-edge local innovations.

This “red carpet” event is CONNECT’s largest and most prestigious event, attracting more than 700 of the region’s top business leaders, researchers and capital providers. CONNECT honors   San Diego’s world-renowned celebrities of innovation along with the groundbreaking new products launched in the last year. The MIP Awards is to San Diego’s technology industry what the Academy Awards™ is to the movie industry. More than 100 San Diego based companies competed in the rigorous judging process representing a broad range of companies across nine categories.

“The success of the MIP Awards continues to be driven by the impressive and growing number of innovative technology and life sciences companies based here in San Diego County,” said Tyler Orion, interim president, CONNECT. “In the 26 years CONNECT has been spearheading the MIP Awards, we’ve never seen such a well-qualified group of nominees – it’s always a difficult decision to select the most innovative products of the year, and we congratulate all of the winners on their noteworthy achievements.”

CONNECT was founded in 1985 as a regional program of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) to catalyze the creation of innovative technology and life sciences products in San Diego County by linking inventors and entrepreneurs with the resources they need for success. In 1986 UCSD Diego hired Bill Otterson, Chairman of Lexocorp, to head CONNECT. Over the following 13 years, Otterson and Mary Walshok, Associate Vice Chancellor of Extended Studies and Public Programs at UCSD built CONNECT into an internationally renowned program.

To better serve the entire research community, CONNECT spun-out of UCSD in 2005 and formed the CONNECT Association, a 501c6 trade organization, and CONNECT Foundation, a 501c3 charitable foundation. As a result of spinning-out from UCSD, CONNECT has been able to broaden its mandate to include public advocacy work on behalf of its members through the trade organization.

Since 1985, CONNECT has assisted in the formation and development of more than 3,000 companies that have attracted more than $2 billion in investment capital through its “flagship” Springboard program. Springboard is a free program that is open for enrollment to innovation companies in the Southern California region. Springboard assists companies in proving their business model and developing a compelling commercialization strategy.

Companies accepted into the program are assigned expert business advisors who coach the company throughout the process which includes feedback from financial, marketing, legal and commercialization experts, as well advice from industry executives and the opportunity to dry run presentations and pitches.

After completing Springboard, companies that are considered suitable and ready for investment by angels, venture capital and/or corporate investors, move on to participate in the Springboard Capital Competition.

The winners of the 2013 MIP Award contest are:

Aerospace and Security Technologies

Cubic Defense Applications for One Shot

One Shot is a breakthrough in long-range targeting accuracy that automatically measures and corrects for all aiming errors including-for the first time ever-downrange crosswind speed and direction. It gives our warfighters a decisive battlefield advantage. Cubic is the world’s leading provider of realistic air and ground combat training systems for national military and security forces. Infantry troops, aircrews, and security forces all draw upon the realism gained from using our training systems to help them effectively perform their mission.

Communications and IT

iboss Network Security for iboss Cloud Web Security with Device Management

iboss Cloud Web Security with Device Management provides SaaS mobile device web security and management enabling organizations to safely integrate mobile technology. Utilizing the cloud, MobileEther secures company data, protects against web threats and ensures industry compliance seamlessly within minutes.

Hardware and General Technology

Nextivity, Inc. for Cel-Fi RS2

Cel-Fi is a smart signal booster that maximizes a user’s indoor wireless experience by eliminating in-building dead zones. Cel-Fi increases wireless data speeds and eliminates dropped calls for wireless subscribers by boosting signal strength from one bar to five bars.

“We are incredibly proud that Cel-Fi has received San Diego’s most prestigious honor for innovation,” says Werner Sievers, CEO of Nextivity. “The award is testament to the exceptional design and world-class engineering that goes in to developing the world’s only all-digital, one hundred percent wireless smart signal booster. Our team continues to push the boundaries in design excellence, ensuring Cel-Fi meets the stringent testing criteria laid out by carriers worldwide to solve indoor coverage issues for wireless subscribers.”

Life Sciences-Diagnostics and Research Tools

Life Technologies for Ion AmpliSeq Exome

Ion AmpliSeq Exome Kit isolates key regions of the genome with unparalleled ease and speed, leveraging PCR, a routine lab technique. Taking six hours instead of several days, this provides the simplest, fastest exome sequencing solution for researchers studying disease.

Life Sciences-Medical Products

Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for KYNAMRO

KYNAMRO is the first FDA-approved, systemically delivered, antisense drug and a product of Isis’ drug discovery technology platform. KYNAMRO is designed to inhibit LDL-cholesterol formation and is marketed to treat patients with HoFH, a genetic disease characterized by severely high LDL-cholesterol.

Mobile Apps

OneHealth Solutions, Inc. for OneHealth

OneHealth is the leading HIPAA-compliant mobile application combining social technology, game mechanics and clinical principles to support chronic condition and behavioral health patients. Through real-time peer support, OneHealth Experts and evidence-based clinical resources, patients actively manage their conditions anytime, anywhere.

“OneHealth is a pioneer in delivering an integrated web and mobile-based health service that provides users with the tools and real-time support they need to better manage their health goals and lead healthier lives,” said Bruce Springer, CEO of OneHealth. “Our mobile app includes best-practices from nearly five years of implementing our web-based platform, bringing a “healthy support in your pocket” approach to encourage healthy living, drive patient compliance and reduce risk to ensure better health outcomes. This award is an honored recognition of our goal to make healthier living more accessible for everyone when they need it most.”


Emotient for FACET

Emotient is the leading authority in facial expression recognition. Emotient’s flagship product is FACET, a software development kit for automatic emotion detection. Emotient’s technology translates facial expressions into actionable information, enabling companies to develop emotion-aware technologies and create new levels of customer engagement.

“We are honored that FACET received such prestigious recognition from CONNECT,” said Ken Denman, CEO, Emotient. “Emotient’s scientific co-founders are widely regarded as pioneers in applying machine learning, computer vision and cognitive science to facial expression analysis. We look forward to seeing our FACET emotion recognition technology deployed for broad consumer, marketing, healthcare and business use.”

Sport & Active Lifestyle Technologies

Hookit for Hookit Athlete Index

Marketers invest $12B in athlete endorsements every year to capture a piece of $1T plus they impact in consumer spending. Hookit has created the first ever tool to track and monetize athletes’ real-time influence in today’s complex world of digital media.


Achates Power, Inc. for Achates Power Opposed-Piston, Two-Stroke Engine

Achates Power has developed radically improved internal combustion engines that increase fuel efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and are lower cost. These engines meet the U.S. military’s stringent requirements for power density, fuel efficiency, heat rejection and multi-fuel capabilities.

In my interview, David Johnson, President and CEO, stated, “We were thrilled to win the CONNECT MIP award. Since our 2004 founding, we have worked hard to perfect the opposed-piston engine architecture and our technology is extremely well suited to the needs of the military—providing superior fuel efficiency, high power density and low heat rejection. This is what sets us apart from the competition including, in this case, the incumbent technology.”

Distinguished Contribution Award

In addition to the nine companies honored for their outstanding new products, the Distinguished Contribution Award for Life Sciences and Technology Innovation was awarded posthumously to former Chief Executive Officer, Duane Roth, who passed away in August. Duane’s brother Ted accepted the award, followed by an inspiring tribute video honoring all that Duane did for the San Diego region. The Distinguished Contribution Award for Life Sciences and Technology Innovation is bestowed annually to honor individuals in San Diego who, through business activities and community involvement, have encouraged innovation, diversity of thought and the advancement of local entrepreneurs. A lover of innovation and technology and a true community cultivator, Roth was beloved in the community for serving as an inspiration, a leader, a mentor, a role model, an advocate and friend. Roth’s many contributions to local entrepreneurs and the San Diego innovation economy coupled with his infectious spirit will live on as the award will be renamed in his honor as the Duane Roth Distinguished Contribution Award for Life Sciences and Technology Innovation.

California has a bad rap for an unfavorable business climate with regard to taxes and regulations, but entrepreneurs are still choosing California as the location for starting and growing their technology based companies. San Diego has a great deal to offer these companies to help them succeed and grow starting with the San Diego Inventors Forum (about which I have written previously), CONNECT’s various programs, the CommNexus EvoNexus incubator, and the large pool of angel investors that comprise the TechCoast Angels. San Diego continues to grow more companies than it loses to other states. However, when a company grows to the point that it is acquired by an out-of-state public company, it is often moved to another state by the new parent company. Governor Brown and our state legislators could remedy this situation by improving California’s overall business climate.

Country of Origin Labeling is Critical to Buying American and Must be Improved

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

On January 15, 2013, Walmart and Sam’s Club announced that they will buy an additional $50 billion in U.S. products over the next 10 years. “…by increasing what it already buys here – in categories like sporting goods, apparel basics, storage products, games, and paper products, and by helping to onshore U.S. production in high potential areas like textiles, furniture and higher-end appliances.”

The news release stated, “A popular misconception about Walmart is where the majority of the products on its shelves are sourced. According to data from its suppliers, items that are made here, sourced here, or grown here account for about two-thirds of what the company spends to buy products at Walmart U.S.”

Since 11 months has passed since Walmart’s announcement, I wanted to see if the company was living up the claims of their press release. So I visited two Walmart stores in San Diego to see if I could find products with “Made in USA” labels. I spent a couple of hours going through various departments. In the clothing departments for men, women, boys, girls, and babies, I only found one “Made in USA” label on a team logo shirt made by Intex in the sports team department. The majority of clothing in all departments had “Made in China” labels, but there were also labels for clothing made in Bangladesh, Cambodia, El Salvador, Honduras, Jordan, Nicaragua, Pakistan, and Vietnam.

When I browsed the small appliance and furniture departments, I found only “Made in China” products. I was especially disturbed to see only “Made in China” labels for everything in the baby department: car seats, cribs, infant seats, playpens, strollers, swings, etc.

Since Walmart pledged to buy more “Made in USA” textiles, I made a point to check the labels of all the products in the Bedding department. I found sheets made in China, India, and Pakistan, but all of the comforters, blankets, bedding sets, pillows, towels, bath rugs, and throw pillows were made in China. It was interesting to find two brands of foam mattress pads (Intex and Mainstay) made in America that were cheaper than the brands made in China.

I browsed the sporting goods department carefully and was pleased to find Exxel sleeping bags made in America. I wrote about this company in the second edition of my book as an example of a company that “reshored” manufacturing; that is, returned manufacturing to America from offshore. “In 2007, 60 percent of Exxel’s sleeping bags were made in Shanghai, while Haleyville [Alabama] produced the rest. By 2009, only a third came from China, and by 2010, Haleyville accounted for 90 percent. ‘Labor is China’s advantage and our weakest link,’ Kazazian said. ‘But they can’t compete with me on my just-in-time production cycle.’”

I did find one model of Coleman coolers (a blow-molded plastic model) “Made in USA,” but all other models were made in China. All of the weights, exercise balls, golf clubs, tents, air mattresses, and sports balls were made in China.

Regarding paper goods, you can find “Made in USA” cards in the gift card section, but they are outnumbered by a 3:1 ratio by “Made in China” cards.

I didn’t have time to check labels in the grocery department, but am sure that I would have found the same labeling information I am accustomed to seeing as I noticed that they carry the same brands that I regularly buy at my local grocery store.

The problem with food labeling is that Country of Origin (COOL) Labeling rules defined by the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) leave some loopholes that mean consumers are not getting all the information they need to make informed buying decisions.

For example, seafood has been covered since 2005, and raw seafood requires a label, but if it is cooked or smoked, no label is required. Since 2009, beef, poultry, lamb, goat, some nuts (peanuts, pecans and macadamias), fresh and some frozen fruits and vegetables, and ginseng have to be labeled with their country of origin. However, this requirement applies to retailers (grocery stores), but is not required at restaurants or specialty markets (like fish markets, butcher shops or roadside stands).

The USDA rules for COOL exempt “processed” versions of the foods, and unfortunately, USDA defines the word “processed” in the broadest way they could, so that the maximum amount of food is exempted from labeling. The rules now exempt things that are:

  • cooked, roasted, smoked or cured
  • combined with one other ingredient

This means that all of the frozen meals that you warm up in your microwave have no Country of Origin labels for the ingredients of the meal. The packages just provide “Distributed by” information. The rule that adding one ingredient exempts products from labeling means that lots of frozen vegetables (think peas and carrots) and salad mixes don’t have to be labeled.

Most nuts sold in grocery stores are roasted, so they aren’t labeled. Meat that is cooked, roasted, smoked or cured doesn’t require COOL labeling, so a lot of product in the pork section of the meat case is exempt because it is smoked or cured.

An example of labels that are misleading is the “Product of Canada” labeling on Gorton’s gilled Tilapia packages. Since tilapia is a warm water fish, my husband recently inquired as to where their tilapia is raised. The email reply from Gorton’s Customer Service said:  “All of our tilapia is produced (finished and packaged) in facilities located in either the U.S. or in Canada. All of our coatings, glazes, breading, and flavors are produced in the US and Canada. Our tilapia is aquacultured (farm-raised) fish raised in freshwater ponds and lakes, primarily in China and Indonesia. All of our tilapia is from Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) or Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certified facilities. Gorton’s goes beyond FDA standards to ensure that our tilapia is safe and of the highest quality. We work with only a few, carefully selected tilapia growers who share our dedication to producing only high quality, safe products. In addition, we inspect every lot of tilapia in our own raw material inspection and safety testing facility. Regardless of where our seafood is caught and processed, Gorton’s uses strict, rigorous quality control processes to ensure that we provide you with the safest, most wholesome and delicious seafood products on the market.” The good news about Gorton’s fish products is that the labeling on their grilled salmon states “Made with 100% wild-caught salmon.”

Another example of a misleading labeling is the new label on some of the Starkist tuna products as part of their recently launched its “Made in America” campaign to celebrate its 50th anniversary in American Samoa… The new American flagged themed labels are on 12-ounce cans of “chunk light” tuna processed in American Samoa – an American territory, so technically it’s made in America.


However, according to a U.S. General Accounting Office report, “…more than three-quarters of cannery employees were foreign workers from neighboring Samoa, an independent country.” The workers are far paid less than the U.S. minimum because Congress passed legislation that delayed for Samoa the minimum wage increases that went into effect for the rest of the country. “The minimum wage in American Samoa’s canning industry is set at $4.76 per hour and will not increase until at least 2015.”

In addition, it’s nearly impossible to verify the issue of where the fish is caught and if the fish were caught by U.S. flagged vessels. An article in Undercurrent News states, “While it may seem important to know whether the majority of the fish is caught — in US waters or outside of them — it is not, as far as the US government is concerned. ‘ As long as a US-flagged vessel catches the fish, the US government considers it to be US fish, ´ said Peter Flournoy, a lawyer for commercial marine harvesters. He added, ‘This includes fish caught outside of US waters.’”

Besides ensuring food safety, one of the goals for knowing the Country of Origin for products is to promote the creation of jobs for Americans. The current loopholes for labeling of products such as Starkist’s chunk light tuna are certainly not contributing to achieving this goal.

I’m sure few Americans know that Starkist is now a U. S. subsidiary of the Korea-based tuna giant Dongwon Industries, which means that when American consumers buy Starkist tuna, they are buying a product of a Korean company selling fish caught in international waters, packaged in American Samoa by foreign workers making less than the minimum wage.

We need to make Country of Origin (COOL) Labeling mandatory for all processed food, including frozen meals, vegetables, as well as canned food such as tuna. We could start by requiring that all ingredients representing 25 percent or more of the product be identified by country of origin on the label, including where fish are being farm raised.