Ranchers and farmers are already
seeing the effects of having a new boss in Washington, D.C. On his
first day on the job, President Barack Obama held up regulations that
would govern COOL, the Country of Origin Labeling system. Farmers and
ranchers have long wanted labels that would tell consumers where their
food was produced. The Bush Administration issued rules governing COOL,
but many grower groups found them to be weak.
Obama froze several pending regulations issued by Bush in his last days
in office. One suspended rule would have made it easier for factories
and refineries to expand without applying for a new pollution permit.
Another rule would have removed gray wolves in the Northern Rockies and
Great Lakes from the endangered species list.
As for COOL, Bloomberg reports:
“The freeze also halts an Agriculture Department rule that sets
requirements for country-of-origin labeling on meat and other
perishable food items. Opponents of the measure said the Bush rule
would let meat produced in a domestic facility that also processes
animals from abroad carry a multicountry designation, blurring the
distinctions between U.S. and imported meats.”