COOL requirements ready to begin
Mar 31, 2005 9:18 AM, from staff and wire reports
Mandatory labeling of fish and shellfish covered commodities for country of origin and method of production (ie, wild or farm-raised) will begin in retail food stores April 4, 2005, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
USDA published the country-of-origin labeling (COOL) requirements Oct 5, 2004, as an interim final rule (IFR). The effective date of the IFR requirements was postponed for six months to allow time for existing inventories to clear and industry members to conform operations to the requirements. The full text of the IFR can be found here.
Based upon a number of inquiries and comments, USDA is also issuing a Notice to the Trade to clarify certain requirements for retailers and the supply chain. The notice will help ensure that accurate information is available to consumers at the lowest possible cost by clarifying the IFR requirements for retailers and suppliers. This notice can be found here and contains information related to the documentation and records that retailers and the supply chain must maintain to substantiate country of origin and method of production claims.
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is responsible for implementing the mandatory COOL program, which is a provision of the 2002 Farm Bill.
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