How to File a Complaint on the Country of Origin Labeling regulations


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

Any information you provide is voluntary. Comments including vulgar language may not be processed; additionally, comments including implicit or explicit threats may be escalated. Please do not include any confidential information, such as social security numbers or birth dates in your comments. If you choose to provide us with any personal information, USDA will follow its Privacy Policy found at: If you do not provide your contact information, the FDLD will be unable to contact you with future correspondence regarding your complaint.