Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued a proposed rule that would tighten retail labeling requirements for some meat products.
Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued a proposed rule that would tighten labeling requirements for some meat products.
The proposed change to Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) requirements, which have been in place since 2009, would require food retailers to label the origin of each step of the production process for muscle cuts including where the animal was born, raised and slaughtered. The rule change would also ban the commingling of muscle cuts.
The rule change is in response to a 2012 ruling by the World Trade Organization (WTO) that found that the United States’ COOL requirements for certain meat products unfairly discriminated against Canadian and Mexican livestock imports. The United States has until May 23 to come into compliance with the WTO ruling.
The proposed rule change has drawn fire from the Food Marketing Institute, which is comprised of 1,250 food retail and wholesale companies. The organization claims that the proposed rule change does not bring the United States into compliance with the WTO ruling while adding unnecessary paperwork burdens on food retailers. The organization goes on to say in a statement that the new rule would result in higher food prices.
The USDA is receiving comments on the proposed rule change until April 11.
SOURCES: USDA, FMI