Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods and the WTO Trade Dispute on Meat Labeling [July 3, 2012] [open pdf - 440KB]
"Most retail food stores are now required to inform consumers about the country of origin of fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, shellfish, peanuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, ginseng, and ground and muscle cuts of beef, pork, lamb, chicken, and goat. The rules are required by the 2002 farm bill (P.L. 107-171) as amended by the 2008 farm bill (P.L. 110-246). Other U.S. laws have required such labeling, but only for imported food products already pre-packaged for consumers. The final rule to implement COOL took effect on March 16, 2009. Both the authorization and implementation of country-of-origin labeling (COOL) by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service have been controversial. Much attention has focused on the labeling rules that now apply to meat and meat products. A number of livestock and food industry groups continue to oppose COOL as costly and unnecessary. They and the main livestock exporters to the United States--Canada and Mexico--view the requirement as trade-distorting. Others, including some cattle and consumer groups, maintain that Americans want and deserve to know the origin of their foods, and point out that many U.S. trading partners have their own import labeling requirements."
CRS Report for Congress, RS22955