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The Supreme Court of California Affirms Federal Preemption In Lawsuit Brought By AMI

Thursday, April 15, 2010

(American Meat Institute)

The Supreme Court of California has denied a petition to review a lower appellate court decision, which held that California’s Proposition 65 is expressly preempted by the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA). 

The American Meat Institute and the National Meat Association filed a lawsuit in 2005 seeking a declaratory judgment that the FMIA preempted Proposition 65 with respect to the labeling of meat products. 

In December 2009, a California appellate court issued an opinion affirming a trial court decision that the FMIA preempts, with respect to labeling meat products, Proposition 65.  Significantly, the appellate court held that "the FMIA expressly preempts point of sale warning requirements imposed by Proposition 65 with respect to meat..." 

 The defendant petitioned for review to the Supreme Court of California earlier this year and yesterday that court denied the petition.

“The Supreme Court’s rejection of the petition for review affirms what we have long believed:  that the FMIA expressly preempts Proposition 65,” said AMI President J. Patrick Boyle.  “Secretaries of Agriculture dating back to Richard Lyng have repeatedly asserted this principle and the California judicial system has reaffirmed that position.”


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