The United States Department of Agriculture has determined its final rule of County of Origin Labeling, also called COOL. These new rules comply with World Trade Organization, or WTO, regulations.
The new rule is designed to label all meat products with information about where the animal was born, raised and slaughtered. Each country will then be listed on the products that you purchase. The Montana Farmers Union believes this new rule will have a positive impact on Montana farmers and ranchers.
"We believe the consumers want to know where their food comes from, particularly their meat, and Montana producers are really proud of the animals that they're raising, and believe that Montanans want to be purchasing as much of their local product as possible," said Chris Christaens of the Montana Farmers Union.
Industry leaders hope this change will lead to consumers demanding locally raised beef and other animal products. COOL will also close a loophole that allowed producers to take locally produced beef, mix in foreign beef and place a "multi-country produced" label on it.