Thursday, March 03, 2016

USDA Removes Labeling Requirements from Beef and Pork

The federal government has wiped off the books the controversial law that required grocery stores to label cuts of pork and beef with their country of origin. The rules around Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) require retailers to note where the animal that produced cuts of meat was born, raised and slaughtered. The World Trade Organization, however, said last year that the labels were an unfair trade barrier for meat producers in other countries. Congress repealed mandatory labeling on beef and pork late last year, after the U.S. lost a World Trade Organization dispute with Mexico and Canada. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has now made repeal official via a notice in the Federal Register, although labels are still necessary for poultry, fish and a list of other foods. Over 90 percent of the beef, pork and poultry consumed in the U.S. is produced by American farms. But some ranchers wanted protection from foreign competition and viewed the labels as the meat version of a "Made in the U.S.A." sticker...more

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