USDA to Halt COOL Enforcement

Vilsack: USDA to Revise Labeling Requirements Following COOL Repeal

Jerry Hagstrom
By  Jerry Hagstrom , DTN Political Correspondent
USDA will be amending the country-of-origin labeling regulations as expeditiously as possible to reflect the repeal of the beef and pork provisions, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Friday. (DTN file photo by Katie Micik)

WASHINGTON (DTN) -- Following the passage of the omnibus appropriations bill including a repeal of country-of-origin labeling for beef and pork, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Friday that USDA would immediately stop enforcing the law and rewrite its regulations.

"The omnibus bill repealed the country-of-origin labeling (COOL) requirements for muscle cuts of beef and pork, and ground beef and pork," Vilsack said. "Effective immediately, USDA is not enforcing the COOL requirements for muscle cut and ground beef and pork outlined in the January 2009 and May 2013 final rules."

USDA will be amending the COOL regulations as expeditiously as possible to reflect the repeal of the beef and pork provisions, Vilsack said.

In addition, all imported and domestic meat will continue to be subject to rigorous inspections by USDA to ensure food safety, he added.

The World Trade Organization was supposed to meet Friday to certify Canada's and Mexico's right to retaliate over the law, but the United States intervened to stop the meeting, Politico reported.

The United States argued that the meeting was not supposed to take place because the WTO Ministerial is taking place in Nairobi, Politico said.

(AG)

Jerry Hagstrom