Thursday, September 19, 2013

Court Denies Preliminary Injunction of USDA COOL Rule

On September 11, 2013, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia denied the American Meat Institute’s (AMI) motion for a preliminary injunction of the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) mandatory Country of Origin Labeling rule (COOL). The court states that its decision relied primarily on its evaluation of the plaintiff’s likelihood of success on the merits and irreparable harm factors. It said that on both of these factors, plaintiffs failed to demonstrate they could be successful at trial or show irreparable injury to industries affected by the rule.

AMI brought the claim in July of 2013, arguing that COOL violates the First Amendment, exceeds the USDA’s authority under the Administrative Procedure Act, and that their members will be irreparably harmed by the rule absent a preliminary injunction. AMI was joined in its suit by numerous other trade associations such as National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and North American Meat Association.

In several press releases, AMI announced that it plans to appeal the court’s decision.

For more information on the lawsuit, please see our previous blog posts from August 22 and July 9.

For more information on the COOL rule, please see our May 30 blog post.

Written by Sarah L. Doyle - Research Assistant
The Agricultural Law Resource and Reference Center
September 19, 2013

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