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Country of Origin Labeling A Year Away…Maybe

COOL was part of the 2002 Farm Bill but it has been postponed until next year, unless Congress makes more changes.

Five years after Congress passed the 2002 Farm Bill, which required Country of Origin Labeling of most agricultural products, only fish are labeled. Congress has postponed implementation of COOL twice until after Sept. 30, 2008.

"We have a set of rulemaking out there seeking comments on it," says Bruce Knight, Undersecretary of Agriculture. "We will be evaluating those comments and moving forward on rulemaking and have it implemented by Sept. 30, 2008."

Of course the current debate of the 2007 Farm Bill could change the timeframe or the nature of COOL. Knight says there's no way to tell what might happen, so he is continuing to develop rules based on the underlying statute. Recent problems with imported food and feed have provided momentum for Country of Origin Labeling.

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