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Appeals Court Denies Petition for COOL Rehearing

Monday, November 3, 2014

(American Meat Institute)

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit last week denied the petition for panel rehearing and rehearing en banc and a motion for miscellaneous relief filed by AMI and eight co-plaintiffs as part of its appeal for a preliminary injunction to block implementation of USDA's May 2013 final rule on country-of-origin labeling (COOL).

The rehearing request focused on the scope of the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) authority that was not addressed previously by the en bancpanel. The request argued that AMS exceeded its authority when it addressed production practices in the COOL rule, specifically prohibiting commingling of meat products.

In a statement, AMI Interim President and CEO James H. Hodges said, "We are disappointed in the court's decision today. We continue to maintain that the country of origin rule harms livestock producers and the industry and provides little benefit to consumers. The ban on commingling, which was the subject of this rehearing request, is a key component that made the 2013 rule even more onerous and burdensome than the previous rule, as was confirmed by the World Trade Organization's recent report. The court's refusal to rehear our motion will allow those harms to continue. We will evaluate our options."

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