Who can file a complaint?
Anyone who suspects a violation of the USDA Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) regulations.
What information should I provide?
When you report an alleged violation, provide as much information as possible to help ensure a thorough investigation (see common violations below). If you are willing to discuss the issue further please provide your name and contact information.
The identity of the person filing the complaint, and any portion of the complaint that would indicate the identity of the person submitting the notification, are required by law to remain confidential.
Examples of common COOL violations:
- No country of origin listed on the package, sign, label, or other form that allows consumers to identify country of origin for a covered commodity.
- The country of origin declaration is not legible and/or is not placed in a conspicuous location.
- Abbreviations are utilized for goat, chicken, lamb, fish or shellfish products.
- Method of production is not listed for fish and shellfish (farm-raised or wild-caught).
- Production steps are not listed for goat, lamb, or chicken.
- Country of origin for an online purchased product was not listed on the website or on the sales vehicle (product package or receipt upon delivery).
Information to include in your complaint:
- Name and brand name of the product
- Store name and location
- Detailed explanation of the potential regulatory violation
- Picture of the product or website
- Date the issue was observed
What happens after I submit a complaint?
The USDA Food Disclosure and Labeling Division (FDLD) will review your complaint and determine how best to proceed. This may include having a partner agency conduct an on-site inspection in a subsequent year’s retail review or conducting a desk audit.
File a complaint by:
Online submission: COOL Complaints Portal
Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Food Disclosure & Labeling Division
1400 Independence Avenue, S.W.,
Room 2069-S, Stop 0216
Washington, DC 20250