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WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture is reopening the comment period for 60 days for the Interim Final Rule (IFR) for mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL) for fish and shellfish covered commodities.
The USDA said it is reopening the comment period for general comments on the IFR, which has been in effect for over two years. The comments received by USDA will be used to promulgate a final rule for mandatory COOL for fish and shellfish, and to the extent applicable, other covered commodities.
USDA published the seafood COOL requirements for fish and shellfish as an IFR in the Federal Register in October of 2004, and stipulated an effective date of April 4, 2005. The IFR requires designated retailers and their suppliers to notify customers of the country of origin and method of production of specified fish and shellfish products and maintain specific records to verify claims. The full IFR text is available at http://www.ams.usda.gov/cool/COOLfr.pdf.
Comments are due August 20 and should be submitted online at www.regulations.gov. Additional means of comment submission are via e-mail to [email protected]; by mail to Country of Origin Labeling Program, Room 2607-S, Agricultural Marketing Service, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Stop 0254,
Washington, DC 2025-0254; or by fax to (202) 720-1112.