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COUNTRY OF ORIGIN : U.S. Appeals Court Upholds COOL Labeling Rule














August 5, 2014 












The full U.S. District Court of Appeals rejected the challenge to the USDA’s meat labeling rules filed by the meat industry. 



Those rules are known as country of origin labeling (COOL).




 In addition to opposing labeling for economic reasons, the meat industry believes they are being forced to issue statements against their will. 




A three-panel judge ruled against the meat industry in March 2014 and requested a full court review of the meat industry’s First Amendment claims.






 



The court decided that regulations satisfy a government interest to protect consumers.



 The court stated that Congress has passed mandates for labeling for more than 100 years. 



The meat industry claims that these labels could drive meat producers out of business if consumers don’t want to buy meat that was raised or processed in another country.





The meat industry had argued that consumers simply want to know where meat comes from “out of idle curiosity.”




The court rejected that argument, stating that “country-of-origin information has an historical pedigree that lifts it well above ‘idle curiosity.’” 






Congress has stated that the statute’s purpose enables consumers to make informed choices based on information about products they want to purchase. 




The court said that consumers have the right to take possible “country-specific differences in safety practices into account.” 




The court also stated that the meat industry’s First Amendment claims would have more merit if the government wanted to stop them from adding information to a label rather than adding it.







A label on a steak or roast could read, “Born in Brazil, raised in Mexico, slaughtered in the U.S.A.” Canada and Mexico oppose COOL, and could impose tariffs on meat imports if the WTO rules in their favor. 







 The World Trade Organization (WTO) is still deciding whether the United States regulations comply with international law.











http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/u-s-appeals-court-upholds-cool-labeling-rule/?

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