USDA has announced details of the final regulation for the mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL) program required by the 2002 and 2008 farm bills.

The rule becomes effective March 16. Copies of the final rule and additional information are available at http://www.ams.usda.gov/COOL.

The rule covers muscle cuts and ground beef, lamb, chicken, goat and pork; wild and farm-raised fish and shellfish; perishable agricultural commodities (specifically fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables); macadamia nuts; pecans; ginseng and peanuts.

Commodities covered under COOL must be labeled at retail to indicate its country of origin.