Court of Appeals hears COOL arguments

The U.S.’s country-of-origin labeling law (COOL) had another day in court Thursday.

Steak-on-Plate_blogAt issue before the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit was whether the denial of an injunction against the implementation of the rule by the U.S. District Court should stand. In September, District Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson denied the request for the injunction, which would have stopped implementation of the rule until the lawsuit is resolved.

The plaintiffs in the case, which include nine meat industry groups from the U.S., Canada and Mexico, have argued that the rule will harm the industry and is a violation of First Amendment protections against compelled speech that don’t advance a government interest. Advocates of COOL have said the new labeling requirements give consumers additional information about the origin of the meat products they purchase.

Yesterday, opponents and proponents of the law made their arguments before the court. A decision has yet to be rendered, according to Feedstuffs.

The rule, which went into effect in November, is a revision of a previous rule that was changed to comply with a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has said the version of COOL now in effect meets the requirements of the WTO ruling, which was the result of a complaint filed by Canada and Mexico. Both countries have maintained that COOL unfairly favors U.S. products. In October, Canada and Mexico requested the WTO review the current law.

For more on COOL from Neogen blog, click here.

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