A preliminary injunction to block implementation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s May 2013 final rule on country-of-origin labeling had been denied by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

A lawsuit had been filed in July 2013 by the American Meat Institute, National Pork Producers Council, American Association of Meat Processors, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, Canadian Pork Council, Confedaracion Nacional de Organizaciones Ganaderas, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, North American Meat Association and the Southwest Meat Association.

In the complaint, the 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 do not directly advance a government interest. They also explained that the 2013 regulation exceeds the scope of the statutory mandate, because the statute does not permit the kind of detailed and onerous labeling requirements the final rule puts in place, and that the rule is arbitrary and capricious, because it imposes vast burdens on the industry with little to no countervailing benefit.