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BrownfieldAgNews reports:

More than 220 ag and other groups have sent a letter to Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack in support of "a regulatory change to the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) requirements for meat."

Driven by a World Trade Organization ruling, they say the USDA should make sure that labels give consumers more information, not less - that consumers "deserve clear, direct and informative labels."

The letter also says more than 20 state legislatures have bills pending that would demand more information on how food is produced to be shared on food labels for the benefit of consumers.

National Farmers Union, National Farmers Organization, National Catholic Rural Life Conference and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition are joined by a great many state based ag, rural, faith, environmental and consumer groups in signing the letter.

The USDA's proposed rule would require each production step of the animal be printed on the labels of muscle cuts of meat and would end the packing practice of co-mingling livestock "from multiple origins and label the meat from those livestock with the same label."

The National Cattlemen's Beef Association opposes the proposed rule.

Public comments are being taken on it through Thursday, April 11th.

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