COOL takes effect, ban issued on ôdownerö cattle
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's country of origin labeling rule, known as COOL, takes effect today.
The rule, published in a Jan. 15 Federal Register notice, requires that certain agricultural commodities be labeled at retail to indicate the country of origin. They include:
' Muscle cuts and ground beef (including veal), pork, lamb, goat and chicken.
' Wild and farm-raised fish and shellfish.
' Fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables.
' Peanuts, pecans and macadamia nuts.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack also announced Saturday the USDA's final rule to amend the federal meat inspection regulations to require a complete ban on the slaughter of cattle that become disabled or sick, also called 'downers,' after passing initial inspection by Food Safety and Inspection Service.
'This rule is designed to enhance consumer confidence and humane handling standards and will provide clear guidance that non-ambulatory cattle will not be allowed to enter the human food supply,' Vilsack said in a statement.
For more details on both rulemakings, access the USDA Web site.