USDA Proposes Adding Venison to Mandatory COOL


DTN's Washington Insider reports: 

USDA is proposing to add venison and ground venison to the list of covered commodities subject to mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) and is still tweaking the rules for the program to reflect that beef and pork are no longer covered commodities.

Citing the 2014 Farm Bill which added muscle cuts of venison and ground venison to the list of covered commodities, USDA outlined its plans in a proposed rule to be published in the January 13 Federal Register. “The proposed rule would impose recordkeeping requirements on venison producers and intermediary firms selling venison destined for retail channels,” USDA said. “Individual retailers selling venison would also be subject to point of sale labeling and recordkeeping requirements. Each participant in the venison supply chain would bear recordkeeping costs as well as costs associated with modifications to their business practices.”

Interestingly, USDA is also continuing to tweak mandatory COOL rules to reflect the removal of pork and beef from the program, noting that in the proposed rule to add venison. “Additional administrative changes are necessary to reflect the withdrawal of beef and pork commodities from the COOL regulations as published in the Federal Register on March 2, 2016,” USDA said. They are now proposing to amend the production step, raised and the United States country of origin provisions in the law to remove references to beef and pork from these definitions.

There is a 60-day comment period starting January 13.



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