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USDA Releases Rule on Labels

posted on August 1, 2008

Washington (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued an interim final rule on mandatory labels branding meats and other commodities with their country of origin.

The program becomes effective September 30th.

Under it, commodities including muscle cuts, ground beef, chicken, pork and peanuts must be labeled at grocery stores or other retail sites with their country of origin. Restaurants and bars are exempt.

Many U.S. ranchers have been pushing for labels for years, saying it is important to let consumers know where their food comes from. But there also has been concern with the cost of implementation.

The USDA says suppliers and retailers could be fined up to $1,000 for each instance if they are found in violation of the law.

Tags: agriculture food government groceries meat news USDA