Court Denies Injunction on COOL


Meat industry representatives have lost their appeal seeking a preliminary injunction blocking implementation of the country of origin labeling (COOL) rule, according to court documents.

The case, before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, was a split decision based on interpretation of First Amendment law as it applies to commercial speech.

The American Meat Institute and eight other industry organizations, including representative groups from Canada and Mexico, had asked for the court for an en banc review of an earlier appellate decision denying the injunction.

In a statement, AMI Interim President and CEO James H. Hodges said, “The court’s decision today is disappointing.  We have maintained all along that the country of origin rule harms livestock producers and the industry and affords little benefit to consumers. This decision will perpetuate those harms. We will evaluate our options moving forward.”

USDA has been implementing the COOL rule as it was finalized in May 2013, in spite of the legal challenges. USDA enforcement through its field offices has been slow to roll out, however.


Posted by Northern Ag Network

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