August 29, 2008
August 29, 2008 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has released answers to a few questions regarding compliance with the implementation of country-of-origin labeling (COOL). COOL becomes effective on Sept. 30, 2008.
One such question pertains to the labeling of category B origin meats, animals that were born, raised and/or slaughtered in the United States and not imported for immediate slaughter.
The response provided by AMS states, "Meat from these animals should be labeled as, 'Product of the U.S., Canada and Mexico' or 'Product of the U.S., Canada, Mexico.' To provide consistency in the labels and to avoid consumer confusion, the terms 'or' and 'and/or' in the country of origin designation declaration shall not be used (e.g., retailers should not label their products 'Product of the U.S., Canada or Mexico' or 'Product of the U.S., Canada and/or Mexico').
"In addition, more specific information can also be provided. For example, meat derived from hogs that may have been born in Canada but raised and processed in the United States can be labeled as, 'Product of the U.S. and Canada; From hogs born in Canada' or 'Product of the U.S. and Canada; Processed in the United States.'"
Additional questions and answer will be available at www.ams.usda.gov/cool