The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced on Monday the final language of the controversial Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) law, saying domestic meat which is processed in a facility with imported meat can carry a multi-country label.
Aspects of the new rule have angered some, including a remaining loophole which allows one foreign animal per day to be processed with domestics.
Overall the reaction was mixed, with advocates saying the improved inspection will make sure domestic beef is really domestic.
"One good development is that USDA adopted our request for visual inspections, thus allowing a producer to look at an animal and determine if it has any foreign markings, said R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard. "If it does not, the producer can sign an affidavit declaring the animal is exclusively of USA origin."
The labeling requirements will begin on March 16, and will carry a $1,000 fine per violation to retailers and suppliers who do not follow the regulations.
In the last month both Canada and Mexico have filed grievances with the World Trade Organization, saying the U.S. COOL law discriminated from their meat.
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