Oregon Retailers Fail COOL Audit
Only 53 percent of Oregon retailers follow federal country-of-origin labeling laws for seafood, according to an Oregon Department of Agriculture audit.
Agency officials said many of the randomly selected retail stores were unaware of the requirement or how to properly label their products. The audit was conducted on behalf of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agriculture Marketing Service.
"As part of the audit, we were able to provide some very good outreach and information to these retailers," said ODA Assistant Director Dalton Hobbs in a press release. "We would expect the overall compliance rate to improve significantly in the future."
Feedback from Oregon retailers indicates that consumers are more concerned with price and the method of production, such as farmed versus wild, than with country of origin. More than 80 percent of the U.S. seafood supply is imported.
USDA's interim final rule on COOL for seafood will remain in effect until September when a final rule on all perishable commodities is approved.