Taking Sides: Mandatory COOL of meat

Taking Sides: Mandatory COOL of meat

Q: What is your position on mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL) for meat? Country-of-origin labeling rules for meat were signed into law under the 2002 Farm Bill, but the debate over whether they are needed has never subsided. In fact, it’s now accelerating because of recent government modifications that add to the requirements. Opponents claim mandatory labeling is unnecessary and burdensome, and hope COOL will be repealed. Proponents contend COOL offers transparency that benefits consumers and retailers.

Mark D. Dopp, SVP, regulatory affairs and general counsel, American Meat Institute

Country-of-origin labeling could be an opportunity minus the “M-word”: mandatory. Meat and poultry processors voluntarily provide information when the market reflects demand for such information. Experience, however, tells us that COOL isn’t important to most consumers.

USDA used to offer voluntary COOL but no company used it because there was no demand for it. Sinc

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