Federal law requires most imports, including many food items, to bear labels informing the “ultimate purchaser” of their country of origin. Meats, produce, and several other raw agricultural products generally have been exempt. The omnibus farm law (P.L. 107-171) signed on May 13, 2002, contains a requirement that many retailers provide, starting on September 30, 2004, country-of-origin labeling (COOL) on fresh fruits and vegetables, red meats, seafood, and peanuts. The program is voluntary until then. USDA on October 8, 2002, issued guidelines for the voluntary labeling program.
This report discusses projected agricultural imports and exports for FY2002, as well as legislation that deals with federal programs in support of agricultural exports and federal aid dedicated to farms and agricultural reform.