COOL Declared Dead

By Angela Bowman, Associate Editor, PORK Network

On Tuesday, the USDA released its final rule to repeal the controversial mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL) requirements for beef and pork.

The battle over COOL between the U.S. and its North American neighbors came to a head in early December after the World Trade Organization ruled Canada and Mexico could impose tariffs worth $1 billion on U.S.-traded products as retaliation over COOL.

Congress went on to repeal COOL in mid-December before these retaliations could take place. The USDA stopped enforcing COOL requirements for beef and pork in mid-December.

Now, according to Tuesday’s announcement, the final rule has officially eliminated COOL regulations from beef and pork, including muscle cuts, ground beef and ground pork.

As the USDA explained in a news release here, COOL regulatory requirements for chicken, lamb, goat, farm-raised and wild caught fish and shellfish, perishable agricultural commodities, peanuts, pecans, macadamia nuts and ginseng are still in effect.