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USDA sets interim rules for country of origin labeling

USDA sets interim rules for country of origin labeling
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The United States Department of Agriculture has set new country of origin labeling (COOL) rules for certain foods, including a number of different meats, nuts, and other perishable agricultural commodities.

Among other changes, the USDA’s 2008 Farm Bill adds several food types that weren’t including in previous COOL revisions; the new rules add chicken, goat, macadamia nuts, pecans, and ginseng.

The new rule also adds provisions for labeling products of multiple origins.

The regulations are effective September 30, 2008, but don’t apply to commodities produced or packaged before that date. According to the USDA, there will also be a period for comment by those in the industry, as well as education and outreach programs regarding the new rules.

The new USDA bill is the latest in a line of amendments to the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, to require retailers to notify their customers of the country of origin for certain commodities.

The full 233-page pdf version of the rule is available at the USDA website.


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