Section 4.5 of the Codex General
for Food Labeling: Country of Origin.
Does altering an ingredient in a
second country change the country of origin? Altering the product is not the term to consider; however manufacturing or processing a product is. Raw Ingredient Products can be shipped from a
country of origin to another country, but if it is not manufactured or
processed into another product, then the country of origin would not change.
you took a product from one country to another for shelling, deveining, etc.,
the product would still maintain the country that the product was grown and
harvested in. The service aspect of the
process would not change the product’s origin.
Today, many food products are the outcome
of a large number of ingredients that come from many countries; those
ingredients may be processed or manufactured from its original state to make
another product. For example: you may
take eggs from China, milk from Taiwan and cheese from Italy and manufacture quiche
in the U.S. and the quiche would carry a country of origin label (or bar code)
for being made in the United States.
Section 4.5.1 states: the country
of origin of the food shall be declared if its omission would mislead or
deceive the consumer.
Section 4.5.2 states: When a food undergoes processing in a second country which changes its
nature, the country in which the processing is performed shall be considered
the country of origin for the purposes of labeling.
The question is, is
the country of origin in the example above really the U.S.? Under today’s
regulation the answer is yes.
Many consumers groups are advocating changes
be made to the regulations in COOL in order to close all loopholes in the
regulation. Because society has experienced life threatening incidences of
tainted food products or raw ingredients being brought into the supply chain of
processed goods, like green onions, tomatoes, melamine in toothpaste and pet
food, that causes serious illness and sometimes death; lot tracking of every ingredient
has become essential.
If you would like to learn more about this regulation and
how it applies to you please visit the following sites:
“Made in U.S.A”. Standard
Codex Food Labeling (attached PDF)
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industry processors, manufacturers, distributors and brokers. If you need additional information of have
questions for us please feel free to contact us.