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AMI Urges USDA to Wait for Legal Rulings Before Creating Lamb Check-off Program

Wednesday, November 21, 2001

In comments submitted yesterday, AMI urged USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) to wait for legal rulings before establishing a new check-off program for lamb.

Because the Supreme Court earlier this year found an AMS-administered mushroom check-off program unconstitutional and that separate federal courts are currently reviewing the constitutionality of the pork and beef check-off programs, AMI said it would be irresponsible for AMS to create a check-off program for lamb at least until the legal status of the beef and pork programs is clarified.

Noting that the proposed lamb program would include an assessment on packers -- unlike the beef and pork programs -- AMI said it was not opposed to the establishment of an industry-funded, government-administered lamb check-off, but urged USDA to wait for the federal courts to resolve outstanding First Amendment questions relating to the other meat check-off programs.

AMI's comments can be viewed at http://www.meatinstitute.org/Template.cfm?Section=Check-OffPrograms&NavMenuID=370&template=TaggedContentFile.cfm&NewsID=443

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