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USDA Proposes New COOL Rule

WASHINGTON — U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that a new proposed rule for muscle cuts under the Country of Origin Labeling program (COOL) would require producers to give information about where the animal was born, raised and slaughtered on the label.

Under the proposed rule, muscle cuts will also no longer be allowed to be mixed together.

The World Trade Organization found last June that the existing COOL program discriminated against Canada and Mexico.

Tom Vilsack

“USDA expects that these changes will improve the overall operation of the program and also bring the current mandatory COOL requirements into compliance with U.S. international trade obligations,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a press release.

The American Meat Institute does not support the proposed rule.

“The proposed rule is even more onerous, disruptive and expensive than the current regulation implemented in 2009. Complying with this proposal, should it become mandatory, will create more excessive costs that will be passed onto consumers,” said AMI President J. Patrick Boyle in a statement to the media.

The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service will be accepting comments until April 11. 

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