Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) is a law that requires retailers, such as full-line grocery stores, supermarkets, and club warehouse stores, to inform their customers of the source of certain food types. Food commodities covered by COOL include muscle cut and ground meats: lamb, goat, and chicken; wild and farm-raised fish and shellfish; fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables; some nuts: peanuts, pecans, and macadamia nuts; and ginseng.
Regulations for fish and shellfish covered commodities (7 CFR Part 60) became effective in 2005. The final rule for all covered commodities (7 CFR Part 60 and Part 65) went into effect on March 16, 2009. Agricultural Marketing Services (AMS) is responsible for administration and enforcement of COOL.
For additional Program information, refer to the USDA AMS COOL website.
For additional information about the Vermont Agency of Agriculture's involvement in the COOL program, please contact the Consumer Protection Section.