Vilsack said USDA won’t enforce the COOL requirements, effective immediately
Published on: Dec 21, 2015
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Friday released a statement regarding language in the omnibus bill repealing the country of origin labeling requirements for beef and pork products.
Effective immediately, Vilsack said, 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.
USDA will be amending the COOL regulations to reflect the repeal of the beef and pork provisions. In addition, all imported and domestic meat will continue to be subject to rigorous inspections by USDA to ensure food safety, the agency said.
In a statement, Canada’s Minister of International Trade Chrystia Freeland and Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay said the decision means Canada’s beef and pork industries will be able to compete on a level playing field.
"We look forward to the restoration of full access to the U.S. market for Canada’s beef and pork, benefitting our farmers and our economy," they said. "Canada will actively monitor to ensure that the incentives to discriminate against Canadian cattle and hogs are quickly removed from the marketplace."