Honey might need country-of-origin labeling

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture is soliciting comments on its interim final rule for country-of-origin labeling of honey.

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service is establishing a new regulation addressing country-of-origin labeling for packed honey bearing any official USDA mark or statement.

Required

Under the new farm bill, the regulations governing inspection and certification would be amended to include a provision for country-of origin-labeling requirements for packed honey, and for debarment of services if the labeling requirements are not met for packages of honey containing official USDA grade marks or statements.

The 2008 farm bill requires that packaged honey, bearing any combination of USDA marks or statements, must also display the name or names of the one or more countries of origin of the lot or container, permanently in close proximity to the USDA marks or statement — such as on the same side(s) or surface(s), of a comparable size to the USDA marks or statements, and are preceded by the words “Product of” or other words of similar meaning.

To allow the industry to clear the market of labels that do not comply with the new rules, this interim final rule becomes effective Oct. 6.

Comments

Written comments must be received by Sept. 8 and should be sent to Chere L. Shorter, Processed Products Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA, Stop 0247, 1400 Independence Avenue S.W., Washington, DC 20250-0247; e-mailed to chere.shorter@usda.gov; or faxed to 202- 690-1527.

Electronic copies should be submitted to www.regulations.gov.

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