The U.S. District Court for D.C. has denied the request for a preliminary injunction in the Country of Origin Labeling lawsuit. If granted – the injunction would have blocked USDA from implementing and enforcing its revised COOL rule until the case is concluded. The U.S. Cattlemen’s Association and National Farmers Union are pleased with the court’s decision. They say the U.S. would definitely have been in violation of its trade obligations under the World Trade Organization if the injunction had been granted. USCA President Jon Wooster says the revised COOL rule will reduce consumer confusion and allow cattle producers to differentiate their product from foreign beef. NFU President Roger Johnson says NFU has long supported COOL and the consumer’s desire to know where their food comes from – and NFU is committed to defending COOL throughout this legal process. USCA, NFU, the American Sheep Industry Association and the Consumer Federation of America became intervenors in the lawsuit on August 19th.
AMI Will Appeal Court’s Injunction Ruling
The American Meat Institute is not only disappointed with the denial of a motion for a preliminary injunction in the lawsuit to block implementation of USDA’s final rule on country of origin labeling – but disagrees with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia’s decision. The group will seek an expedited appeal of the ruling. AMI President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle says the group strongly disagrees with the court’s decision and believes several aspects of the ruling are susceptible to challenge.
AMI and several other groups – including the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and National Pork Producers Council – filed a lawsuit in July asking the court to vacate and set aside revised COOL regulations issued by USDA in May. The meat and livestock organizations explained that the final rule violates the U.S. Constitution by compelling speech in the form of costly and detailed labels on meat products that don’t directly advance a government interest. The groups also argue the regulation exceeds the scope of the statutory mandate and that the rule is arbitrary and capricious
Source: NAFB News Service