COOL law now in effect
You should now be able to readily find out if that ground beef you're eyeing came from several different cows or even several different countries. Country of Origin Labeling requirements went into full effect Monday.
The law requires the labeling of most meats, fruits, veggies and some nuts with where it came from as well as, in some cases, how the product was raised. Consumers Union has a "COOL Tool" (pdf) to decipher the new law, which, for example exempts butchers.
The Obama administration, including United States Department of Agriculture Secretary and former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, have expressed pleasure with the full implementation, which Vilsack delayed slightly in order to stitch up some loopholes left behind by the Bush administration.
Canadian beef producers, however, apparently aren't as pleased. Some of them feel that the labeling will result in consumers' unfairly discriminating against their products and depressing prices.