The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued a final rule to modify the labeling provisions for muscle cut commodities covered under the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) program.
The final rule modifies the labeling provisions for muscle cut covered commodities to require the origin designations to include information about where each of the production steps (i.e., born, raised, slaughtered) occurred and removes the allowance for commingling of muscle cuts.
In June 2012, the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization (WTO) affirmed an earlier WTO Panel decision finding that the United States’ COOL requirements for certain meat commodities discriminated against Canadian and Mexican livestock imports and thus were inconsistent with the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade. The United States has until May 23, 2013, to come into compliance with the WTO ruling in COOL.
Notice of the final rule will be published in the May 24, 2013 Federal Register. The final rule will go into effect on May 23, 2013, the day it goes on display in the Federal Register. AMS will conduct an industry education and outreach program concerning the requirements of the rule, similar to the outreach program that was conducted following the 2008 Interim Final Rule and the 2009 Final Rule.
Thursday May 23, 2013/ ARS-USDA/ United States.