The U.S. Department of Agriculture has reopened the comment period for 60 days for a proposed rule for mandatory country of origin labeling for beef, lamb, pork, perishable agricultural commodities and peanuts.

The  USDA will review the comments and information received as it drafts a final rule for mandatory country of origin labeling for the covered commodities.

When preparing comments on the proposed rule, USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service asks that interested parties consider the provisions of the interim final rule for fish and shellfish and whether it also can be applied to beef, lamb, pork, perishable agricultural commodities and peanuts. 

AMS is simultaneously reopening the comment period for the interim final rule for the mandatory country-of-origin-labeling program for fish and shellfish.

USDA published the proposed rule for mandatory country of origin labeling of beef, lamb, pork, perishable agricultural commodities and peanuts in the Oct. 30, 2003, Federal Register

The proposed rule requires designated retailers and their suppliers to notify customers of the country of origin. The rule also requires retailers and suppliers to maintain specific records to verify claims. 

The full text of the rule can be found at http://www.ams.usda.gov/cool/ls0304.pdf.

Comments are due Aug. 20 and should be submitted online at www.regulations.gov.

You may also e-mail comments to cool@usda.gov; mail them to Country of Origin Labeling Program, Room 2607-S, Agricultural Marketing Service, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Stop 0254, Washington, DC 2025-0254; or fax them to (202) 720-1112.

For more information, visit http://www.ams.usda.gov/cool.