U.S., Canadian, and Mexican meat and livestock organizations filed their initial brief as part of an appeal of a September 11 decision by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denying a motion for a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit to block implementation of the USDA’s final rule on country-of-origin labeling (COOL).  The organizations argue that the trial court incorrectly accepted the Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) argument, which was inconsistent with 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. 

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The group’s court brief stated, “Even putting aside the absurdity of a government agency referring to itself as an agent of ‘deception,’ the district court should have rejected AMS’s belated declaration because it was a plainly impermissible post hoc rationalization.  Yet the district court accepted it anyway,” the brief notes.”  Those filing the appeal included 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.

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