Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to take a common sense approach to the country-of-origin labeling (COOL) plan.

“The law does not require such impractical regulations as those proposed and supported by USDA,” says Harkin, ranking Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Committee. The law allows for reasonable and workable recordkeeping rules.

“Congress never envisioned that USDA would distort the program so as to require such things as third-party verification of country-of-origin certification,” says the Iowa senator.

Harkin questions why USDA has refused so far to consider “other, more workable approaches, such as producer self-certification and relying upon the existing country-of-origin information for covered commodities already required by customs upon entry into the U.S.”