Meat, Livestock Groups File for COOL Injunction

Jul 26, 2013

Meat, Livestock Groups File for COOL Injunction

By Amanda Brodhagen,

Nine meat and livestock groups have filed to request a preliminary injunction to avert implementation of a mandatory country-of-origin labelling (COOL) rule.

Plaintiffs argue that COOL prevents the industry from “commingling” meat from animals of different countries – something which has been a long standing practice. “The Final Rule violates the Constitution, exceeds the agency’s authority under the Agricultural Marketing Act, and runs afoul of the Administrative Procedure Act. The Final Rule violates the First Amendment because it compels commercial speech merely in service of satisfying the curiosity of “certain” consumers about all of the production steps involved in bringing meat to market,” the filing said.

The groups believe they have a strong case, but assert that implementation of COOL will “irreparably harm meat-industry participants.” Canada and Mexico had brought a complaint to the World Trade Organization (WTO) against the United States’ country-of-origin labeling requirements violating WTO commitments. The WTO gave the U.S. a timeframe to make changes to comply with trade obligations, but instead enhanced COOL requirements, making it even more discriminatory.  

Plaintiffs include - 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 the National Confederation of Livestock Organizations.

The filing can be read by clicking here.

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