UNITED STATES – The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that it is repealing the country-of-origin labeling (COOL) for beef and pork. This action occurs under the federal spending bill passed by the Congress on December 18, 2015 and signed by President Barack Obama. The repeal of COOL implies that the USDA is not enforcing the COOL requirements for muscle cut and ground beef and pork outlined in the January 2009 and May 2013 final rules.
The decision to repeal COOL comes after the World Trade Organization released a statement that Mexico and Canada can charge more than $1 billion in tariffs on U.S. goods if the COOL labels are not removed.
After the removal of COOL, USDA will still monitor all imported and domestic meat by continuing to subject the meat products to rigorous inspections by USDA to ensure food safety.