Country of Origin Labeling (COOL)



While agricultural commodities remained exempt from COOL requirements for many years, the 2002 Farm Bill, Pub. L. No. 107-171 § 10816, 116 Stat. 134, 533-35, amended the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, 7 U.S.C. §§ 1621-1637b (codified at 7 U.S.C. §§ 1638-1638d), to require retail level country of origin labeling (COOL) for ground and muscle cuts of beef, lamb, and pork, as well as farm-raised fish, wild fish, shellfish, peanuts, and fresh fruits and vegetables. However, a 2016 appropriations bill modified the products covered so that COOL laws no longer apply to muscle cuts of beef or pork. The most recent 2016 regulation applies COOL laws to lamb, chicken, and goat meat, perishable agricultural commodities, macadamia nuts, pecans, peanuts, and ginseng. Read the full overview.

Note: Recently added resources are posted at the top of the applicable sections.

Major Statutes

Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, 7 U.S.C. §§ 1621-1638d
COOL Provisions, 7 U.S.C. §§ 1638-1638d
Tariff Act of 1930, 19 U.S.C. §§ 1202-1681b
Applicability, 7 U.S.C. §§ 1638d


Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)

Country of Origin Labeling of Beef, Pork, Lamb, Chicken, Goat Meat, Perishable Agricultural Commodities, Macadamia Nuts, Pecans, Peanuts, and Ginseng, 7 C.F.R. pt. 65
Country of Origin Labeling for Fish and Shellfish, 7 C.F.R. pt. 60
Waters of the US Appendix, 7 C.F.R. pt. 60, Subpt. A, App. A

Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)

Imported Products Labeling Regulations, 9 C.F.R. §§ 327.14-327.15
Imported Poultry Products Labeling Regulations, 9 C.F.R. §§ 381.204-381.206
United States Bureau of Customs and Border Protection Country of Origin Marking Regulations, 19 C.F.R. §§ 134.0-134.55
Federal Register Rules Open for Comment

Case Law

Case Law Index for Country of Origin Labeling (COOL)
WTO Reports of the Appellate Body: Certain Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) Requirements (May 18, 2015)
WTO Reports of the Appellate Body: Certain Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) Requirements (June 29, 2012)
WTO Reports of the Panel: Certain Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) Requirements (Nov. 18, 2011)

Center Research Publications

Cattle Traceability: Potential Legal Implications (Rumley & Dowell, 2018)
Issue Brief: Petition for Policy Change in FSIS’ “Product of U.S.A.” Label (Lizano & Rumley, 2018)
State-Level Catfish Labeling Laws (Springsteen, 2008)

Congressional Research Service Reports

Subjects – published by CRS and made available by NALC until 2018:

International Agriculture/Trade Issues
Animal Agriculture

Agricultural Law Bibliography

Introduction   |   Keyword Search   |   Browse Categories

Legal publications on Country of Origin Labeling:

Food and Drug Law
International Trade

Reference Resources

Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)

Country of Origin Labeling
Summary of Changes: From the Interim Final Rules (7 CFR Parts 60 and 65) to the Final Rule

COOL Compliance and Enforcement (AMS)

Abbreviations Guidance
COOL Frequently Asked Questions Regarding COVID-19 Enforcement Discretion
FAQs- COOL Labeling Provisions Final Rule
Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) Frequently Asked Questions
Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) Common Questions and Answers
COOL Customs and Border Protection Rulings
Training Materials for Retailers, Suppliers and State Cooperators
COOL Consumer Information Factsheet (2016)
COOL Retailer Information Factsheet (2016)
COOL Supplier Information Factsheet (2016)
Repeal of Beef and Pork Requirements
Packed Honey – Country of Origin Labeling
COOL Forms
COOL Labeling Options (2018)

Economic Research Service (ERS)

Animal Production & Marketing Issues
International Markets & U.S. Trade
Consumers Appear Indifferent to Country-of-Origin Labeling for Shrimp (Kuchler & Krisoff, 2012)
Country-of-Origin Labeling: Theory and Observation (Krissoff et al., 2004)
Economics of Food Labeling (Golan et al., 2001)

Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)

COOL – EU Labeling Requirements
Final Rule- COOL Updates (2016)

Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)

Labeling Policies
Regulations, Directives, and Notices
Meat, Poultry and Egg Product Inspection Directory
Label Submission and Approval 

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

FDA/ORA Compliance Policy Guide, Sec. 560.200 Country of Origin Labeling (CPG 7119.02) (2005)

Congressional Resources

Country of Origin Labeling Reports (Government Accountability Office)
2015 USDA Report To Congress: Economic Analysis of Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) (April 2015)

Other Federal Resources

Certain Country of Origin (COOL) Labeling Requirements — Canada (Office of the United States Trade Representative)
Certain Country of Origin (COOL) Labeling Requirements – Mexico (Office of the United States Trade Representative)

International Resources

World Trade Organization

United States – Certain Country of Origin Labelling Requirements (D.S. 384)
United States – Certain Country of Origin Labelling Requirements (D.S. 386)


USDA Proposes New Requirements for the “Product of USA” Label Claim (2023)
USDA Announces It Will Revisit Country of Origin Labeling (2020)
A COOL Repeal: Potential Outcomes of U.S. Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling Requirements on Dairy and Beef Sectors (Bonnano et al., 2016)
COOL: Information for Fair Staff (University of Wisconsin, 2016)
COOL: Information for Parents and Students (University of Wisconsin, 2016)
Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling Induced Structural Change of U.S. Meat Products (Yeboah et al. 2016)
Country of Origin Marking Requirements (Packing Law, 2015)
What is the COOL labeling law and how are food items regulated? (Michigan State University Extension, 2015)

Revealed Demand for Country-of-Origin Labeling of Meat in the United States (Taylor & Tonsor, 2013)
Country of Origin Labeling: Who Wants It? (Pouliot, 2013)
Understanding How the Country of Origin Labeling Program Affects Farmers (FLAG, 2009)
Potential Impact of Country of Origin Labeling on Structure of Beef Industry (Anderson & Hudson, 2004)
Effects of Country-of-Origin Labeling on Meat Consumers and Producers (Lusk & Anderson, 2004)
Country-of-Origin Labeling and the Beef Industry (Anderson & Capps, 2004)
Country of Origin Labeling: A Legal and Economic Analysis (International Agricultural Trade and Policy Center, VanSickle et al., 2003)
Country of Origin Labeling (McEowen, 2003)
Country of Origin Labeling: It’s Time to Start Keeping Records (U. NE, 2003)

Additional Resources

Track the Progress of the American Beef Labeling Act of 2023
Product Labeling (National Farmers Union, 2023)
Label Our Beef (R-Calf USA, 2023)
Beef Groups Respond to USDA Proposal for Labeling US Beef (Progressive Farmer, 2023)
Beef Label Wars (Progressive Farmer, 2023)
Thune, Tester, Rounds, Booker Reintroduce Bipartisan Beef Labeling Act (2023)
The COOL Rule: Does COOL Labeling Provide Safety Information to the Consumer? (Burdock Group)
Proposed COOL Online Act (Senator Baldwin)
Country of Origin Labeling Posts (The National Law Review)
Country of Origin Labeling: MCOOL Bill Officially Introduced (Tri-State Livestock News)
Country of Origin Labeling Overview (Federal Register)
USDA AMS COOL Overview Video (USDA)
Country of Origin Labeling Posts (Ag & Food Law Blog)
Compliance FAQS: Packaging and Labeling in the U.S. (Department of Commerce)
Country of Origin COOL Library (U.S. Cattlemen’s Association)
Country of Origin Labeling Resources (R-CALF USA)
Country of Origin Labeling: Enforcement and Inspection (Food Marketing Institute)