NAIS May Play a Role in Implementing COOL

ID numbers could potentially help labeling.

Country-of-Origin labeling is to be implemented by the USDA in 2008. According to USDA undersecretary of marketing and regulatory programs Bruce Knight the technology of tracking identification numbers in the proposed National Animal Identification System may be beneficial to COOL.

"Because of COOL there is going to be folks in the marketplace looking for where does this animal come from," Knight says.

Under the NAIS business plan, each animal's 15 digit identification number begins with three digits that identify the country. For the United States that number is 840.

"That animal doesn't need any more identification papers; doesn't need anything more than what is currently in that animal's ear," Knight says. "So these first waves of adopters of National Animal ID System will also be at the front of the line with compliance under Country of Origin Labeling."

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