USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service implemented the Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling on September 30, but you still may not understand how it will impact you.
Details for the COOL program are still unfolding, and USDA will not be enforcing COOL until April 1, 2009, but instead promoting "educational compliance," points out Darrell Mark, assistant professor of agricultural economics at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. It is relatively clear, however, that many livestock producers will not have significant recordkeeping burdens associated with COOL, but they will have to provide origin information that is verifiable through ordinary business records, he adds.
"We have developed a series of educational materials and resources on COOL available online," says Mark. "The COOL website is: http://cool.unl.edu. Several of these materials are from USDA-AMS or other land grant universities, but several are from UNL as well, including a new factsheet that we have prepared, and two webinars on COOL featuring Lloyd Day, Administrator of USDA-AMS charged with implementing COOL. We will keep this site up-to-date as COOL rules evolve over the upcoming months"
For questions or comments, e-mail Kim Watson, editor Beef Today.