The Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS) last week received a somewhat less-than-favorable report regarding country of origin (COOL) labeling from USDA’s Office of Inspection (OIG) saying that “AMS made significant strides implementing the final rule;” however, “AMS still needs to make improvements to its controls and processes to ensure retailers and suppliers fully comply with the regulations.”

With regards to retail, OIG pointed out that AMS needs to improve the retailer selection process, strengthen retailer review procedures, and improve the timeline of its evaluation of retailer review documentation.  With regards to oversight and enforcement, OIG said AMS needs to improve enforcement of COOL regulations, its oversight of state agencies, and communications with retailers. The OIG report included detailed recommendations to assist AMS in resolving these issues.

The OIG report is available at