A three judge panel of the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia heard oral arguments regarding the appeal of a District Court decision to deny a motion for a preliminary injunction to enjoin USDA country-of-origin labeling (COOL) requirements. The court heard arguments from both sides.
The lawyers for the co-plantiffs (American Meat Institute, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Pork Producers Council, North America Meat Association and others) argued that the trial court incorrectly accepted the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) argument, which was inconsistent with the rationale offered by AMS in the final rule, that the new final rule "is to correct misleading speech and prevent consumer deception" that purportedly occurred because of requirements AMS imposed in its 2009 version of the rule. Also, they presented that “irreparable harm” is being done to the industry right now.
The U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, one of the defendant-interveners, said, “We believe that the district court judge's ruling denying the injunction properly examined the relevant case law and evaluated the likelihood of success on the merits as well as the claims of irreparable injury.” There is no indication when the court will rule on the appeal.