Deer in the (COOL) headlights

Meatingplace, By Rita Jane Gabbett on 1/18/2017

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service announced plans to publish a proposed rule to amend the country-of-origin labeling (COOL) regulation to add muscle cuts of venison and ground venison to the list of commodities covered under the labeling law.

In December 2015, Congress repealed the COOL regulations for muscle cuts of beef and pork, and ground beef and pork and USDA stopped enforcing the law for those products.

COOL regulations still require retailers to notify their customers with information regarding the source of other certain foods, however, including muscle cut and ground meats from lamb, goat, and chicken; wild and farm-raised fish and shellfish; fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables; peanuts, pecans, and macadamia nuts; and ginseng.

The Agricultural Act of 2014 directed AMS to add muscle cuts of venison and ground venison to the list of covered commodities subject to mandatory COOL requirements.

The proposed rule is set to be published in the Federal Register on Jan. 13 and comments must be submitted by March 14.

Comments may be posted at www.regulations.gov, or sent to: COOL Division; Livestock, Poultry, and Seed Program, Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA; Room 2614-S, STOP 0216; 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20250-0216; telephone (202) 720-4486; or email COOL@ams.usda.gov.  All comments should reference docket number AMS-LPS-16-0014; the date of submission; and the page number of the issue of the Federal Register.