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AMI Encouraged By U.S. Court of Appeals Decision to Vacate Ruling in COOL Lawsuit and Rehear En Banc

Friday, April 4, 2014
 

Attribute Statement to AMI Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and General Counsel Mark Dopp 

“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 U.S. Department of Agriculture’s May 2013 final rule on country-of-origin labeling.  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 labeling 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 labeling 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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Joining AMI in the lawsuit, filed in July 2013, are the American Association of Meat Processors, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, Canadian Pork Council, Confedaracion Nacional de Organizaciones Ganaderas, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Pork Producers Council, North American Meat Association and the Southwest Meat Association.  

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