U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) today applauded the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) final rule to improve the country-of-origin labeling (COOL) program. The USDA’s revisions, made in response to last year’s World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling, largely reflect the structure of the March proposed rule requiring the labeling of each production step and the elimination of commingling.
“USDA’s ruling is a victory for American consumers and ag producers,” Johnson said. “A recent survey has found that an overwhelming majority of consumers want to know where their food was produced. USDA has responded, and now consumers will have access to more accurate information about the origin of their food.”
Johnson has worked for the last decade toward implementation of COOL since he authored the provision in the 2002 Farm Bill. COOL passed Congress, and was signed into law again in the 2008 Farm Bill following roadblocks to implementation during the Bush Administration. Johnson has pledged to oppose any efforts during Farm Bill consideration to weaken the COOL law.
More information about the final rule can be found here.