NFU continues legal defense of COOL
WASHINGTON – This week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard argument en banc in AMI v. USDA. While a three-judge panel had affirmed the district court’s denial of a preliminary injunction on the implementation of the revised Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) regulations, the panel had noted that one issue might warrant rehearing en banc. The Court scheduled May 20 hearing as a result.
The parties’ positions before the Court are essentially the same as what was presented to the panel although additional briefing was sought by the Court on the reach of a certain Supreme Court decision in the First Amendment area.
National Farmers Union (NFU), along with fellow intervenors the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, American Sheep Industry Association and Consumer Federation of America, has participated at both the district court and at the D.C. Circuit supporting the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s revised COOL regulation and opposing the preliminary injunction request of the plaintiffs/appellants.
“The revised COOL regulation is an important step in providing consumers improved information on the origin of the meat products they buy, and it reduces consumer confusion,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “The information required by the regulation to be provided is factual and noncontroversial. I am hopeful that the full Circuit will affirm the panel’s prior decision and continue to deny the preliminary injunction requested by appellants.”