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Ginseng gets COO labeling under USDA rule

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Ginseng root will receive country-of-origin labeling at the retail level under a final rule the Department of Agriculture published in the Jan. 15 Federal Register. Under the rule, effective March 16, USDA will make funding available to develop an automated review tracking system and conduct audits of the retail supply chain, the agency says in a Jan. 12 release. American Botanical Council Executive Director Mark Blumenthal said in an e-mail that COO labeling "addresses a serious problem in the American ginseng-producing community," since roots grown in Southeast Asia are often imported by the U.S. as fraudulent "Wisconsin-grown" ginseng. The USDA rule incorporates the aim of the Ginseng Harvest Labeling Act of 2007, introduced by Wisconsin's congressional delegation to protect growers in the state (1"The Tan Sheet" Aug. 13, 2007, p. 7)

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