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USDA OfficiallRepeals Mandatory COOL Requirements for Meat Labels

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

(North American Meat Institute)

The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) published a final rule amending the mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL) regulations to remove beef and pork muscle cuts and ground beef and pork from covered commodities subject to COOL requirements in order to bring the U.S. into compliance with its international trade obligations. AMS issued the final rule to conform to amendments to the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, which are outlined in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016. The World Trade Organization last May ruled for a fourth and final time that COOL violates the United States’ international trade obligations and illegally discriminates against imported livestock from Canada and Mexico. The U.S. Congress subsequently included a provision repealing the COOL requirements for beef and pork in an omnibus spending bill that passed in December 2015, effectively staving off billions in retaliatory tariffs from Canada and Mexico.

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