France Begins 2-year Test for Country-of-origin Labeling

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A two-year trial period for mandatory country-of-origin labeling is getting underway in France, but it’s not as likely to conflict with international trade rules as the U.S. COOL program did in recent years because it’s tied to the European Commission’s work on the issue.

Country-of-origin labeling (COOL) efforts in France will focus on 100 percent French meat or milk. Further, products that contain 8 percent or more meat or 50 percent or more milk must have the origins of those ingredients disclosed on their labels.

Speaking through their trade association, French processors and livestock producers said the industries view the COOL requirement as a significant advancement that will give consumers “clear and transparent” information on their purchases.

The impact of the French system will likely get its first airing in December when the EU will submit a report on the effects of the “visual labeling.” The EU has not decided on the legality of the system.

Read more about France’s country-of-origin labeling program HERE.