Eight organizations representing the U.S. and Canadian meat and livestock industries field suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to block implementation of USDA’s mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL) rule. In their complaint, the organizations said the final rule violates the United States Constitution by compelling speech in the form of costly and detailed labels on meat products that do not directly advance a government interest.
The organizations also noted 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.”
The American Meat Institute (AMI) said, “The labels that result will serve only to confuse consumers, raise the prices they pay, and put some producers and meat and poultry companies out of business in the process. Everyone loses under this rule.” Those filing the suit are the American Meat Institute, American Association of Meat Processors, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, Canadian Pork Council, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Pork Producers Council, North American Meat Association and Southwest Meat Association.
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