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Appeal Court Overturns Rule on Country of Origin Labelling Injunction

08 April 2014

US - The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has overturned a previous ruling that stopped a group of meat and livestock industry organisations calling for an injunction on the implementation of the US country of origin labelling law.

The move has been welcomed by the organisations that will now hope to ocverturn the regulation through the courts.

American Meat Institute Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and General Counsel Mark Dopp said: “We are encouraged that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit today vacated a March 28 ruling denying AMI’s request for a preliminary injunction to block implementation of the US Department of Agriculture’s May 2013 final rule on country-of-origin labelling.

“We are also pleased that the full Court will rehear the case en banc in May.

“We had strong concerns with the reasoning in the March 28 ruling.

“Today’s court order to vacate the ruling signals that some members of the court may share those concerns.

“We remain hopeful that consideration of the case by then full Court will lead to an injunction against the protectionistic and costly country of origin labelling rule that is hurting livestock producers and meat companies while offering little benefit to consumers.

“In the complaint, AMI and our co-plaintiffs explained that 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.

“We also explained that the 2013 regulation exceeds the scope of the statutory mandate, because the statute does not permit the kind of detailed and onerous labelling 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.”

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