The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced that the final rule for the Country of Original Labeling (COOL) law will go into affect on March 16th as planned, and is asking the meat industry to voluntarily tell consumers where products come from.
"I strongly support Country of Origin Labeling - it's a critical step toward providing consumers with additional information about the origin of their food," said agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack.
Vilsack also said the USDA would closely monitor the industry's compliance with the rule.
It was initially thought that the announcement would be made last Wednesday, but it was delayed until President Barack Obama returned from his first trip to Canada on Friday.
Late last year Mexico and Canada filed complaints with the World Trade Organization claiming COOL laws discriminated against their county's exports.
Canada's complaint was put on hold last month, but some in the industry feel the country may revisit the complaint following the announcement by the USDA.
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