Organisations take COOL to court

by Editor fleischwirtschaft.com
Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Nine organisations representing the meat and livestock industries in the United States, Canada and Mexico filed court documents seeking a preliminary injunction against the country-of-origin labeling rule.

The groups filed the request with the US District Court for the District of Columbia.

Plaintiffs include the American Association of Meat Processors, American Meat Institute, Canadian Cattlemen's Association, Canadian Pork Council, National Cattlemen's Beef Association, National Pork Producers Council, North American Meat Association, Southwest Meat Association and Mexico's National Confederation of Livestock Organizations, which recently joined a lawsuit filed 8 July.

In the injunction request, the groups argue that the final COOL rule violates the Constitution, exceeds the US Department of Agriculture's authority under the Agricultural Marketing Act, and runs afoul of the Administrative Procedure Act.
 
Under the revised COOL regulation, meat packers must label muscle cuts of meat with information about where each of the production steps occurred. Additionally, the provisions bar the practice of commingling of meat from animals of different countries of origin.

The plaintiffs believe that they are very likely to succeed on the merits and the Final Rule will likely be vacated. But if it is not enjoined in the meantime, the Final Rule will irreparably harm meat-industry participants. The plaintiffs are trade organisations that represent regulated entities facing immediate and substantial burdens and costs under the Final Rule.
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