USDA Amends Rules of Practice to Strengthen Enforcement of Livestock Mandatory Reporting and Country of Origin Labeling Programs
August 11, 2017

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today issued a final rule allowing USDA to take action as needed, including levying civil penalties, against violators of the Livestock Mandatory Reporting (LMR) and the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) regulations. The action extends the current rules of practice under the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, as amended, to include LMR and COOL violations.

The rules of practice for LMR and COOL set a clear and efficient process for all stakeholders regarding any enforcement actions and facilitate the agency's work to ensure timely compliance.

When someone fails to meet the LMR reporting requirements it impacts the ability of AMS to publish timely and reliable livestock information that the industry relies upon. The COOL program ensures consumers have information regarding the origin of many foods available in the marketplace.

Enforcement provisions in the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 allow up to $10,000 in fines per violation for violating the LMR regulations. Additionally, the Act allows fines for a retailer or person engaged in the business of supplying a covered commodity that willfully violates COOL regulations. American sheep industry association notes the importance of this provision as lamb is the sole meat that falls under both provisions.

A notice was published in the August 9, 2017, Federal Register.