Meat Labeling (Country of Origin Labeling)

For more than 10 years, the American Sheep Industry Association has pushed for the implementation of a national system that would allow consumers to recognize the origin of the lamb on the shelves of American supermarkets. And with good reason: Labeling of domestic and imported product will allow American lamb to capture a larger share of the higher retail price versus the product blending or nebulous labeling practices that exist in many situations today.

Such a program – Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) -- will go into effect Sept. 30, 2008. The initiative requires country of origin labeling for muscle cuts and ground beeef (including veal), lamb, chicken, pork and goat; perishable agricultural commodities (fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables); macadamia nuts; pecans; ginseng; and peanuts.

This link will take you to the COOL section of the USDA Web site:

The USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service provided COOL Guidance to Producers as a guideline for complying with the rule.