WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Aug. 9 closed the period for accepting written comments, information and data regarding voluntary country-of-origin labeling guidelines mandated by the 2002 Farm Bill. According to the Produce Marketing Association, the comments would supplement the opinions already submitted by various stakeholders. In particular, USDA is interested in receiving comments on how best to implement provisions for certain commodities, including beef, pork, lamb, fish, fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, and peanuts. The COOL provisions of the Farm Bill require that USDA issue the voluntary guidelines by Sept. 30 so that retailers can begin labeling as to country of origin within three years. PMA, based in Newark, Del., and other industry trade associations, had been urging retailers, wholesalers, producers, states and other interested parties to review the COOL provisions of the Farm Bill and submit information and opinion for consideration by the department.