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Tufts OpenCourseware
Authors: Kathleen Merrigan, Ph.D., William Lockeretz, Ph.D.


  • Dyck, John H. and Kenneth E. Nelson, Structure of the Global Markets for Meat, Economic Research Service, No. 785, Sept. 2003.
  • ERS, “Table 1: Comparison of average retail prices for selected meat cuts,” Oct. 2003.
  • Mad Cow Disease and U.S. Beef Trade, Charles Hanrahan and Geoffrey Becker, CRS Report for Congress, August 4, 2004
  • Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods, Geoffrey Becker, CRS Report for Congress, August 3, 2004.

Key Questions

Country-of –Origin Labeling for Foods

  • What does the law state with reference to labeling requirements for imported food items?
  • Which federal acts and agencies regulate the COOL requirement?
  • Under which conditions is exemption granted from labeling?
  • Is COOL for foods mandatory?
  • Why do farmer interest groups support mandatory COOL while those representing the processing industry oppose it?
  • Can a processor import some agricultural produce, process it and then label the product as having originated in the US?
  • Why does the issue of “origin” complicate the concept of COOL?
  • Does mandatory COOL requirement amount to erecting trade barriers?
  • Have there been any incidents which support the idea that mandatory COOL enhances food safety?