The United States Cattlemen's Association, as a defendant-intervenor in a lawsuit challenging opposition of the USDA's Country of Origin Labeling rule, said oral arguments in the appeal of the denial of plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction have been scheduled for January 9, 2014.
Oral arguments will be heard by Chief Judge Garland, Circuit Judge Srinivasan and Senior Circuit Judge Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, USCA said.
Jon Wooster, USCA President, said as the lawsuit moves forward, farm bill conferees should avoid repealing the COOL rule.
"We believe the legal process should be allowed to play out without any interference from Congress," Wooster explained.
Plaintiffs filed their lawsuit to block COOL on July 8 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction was denied on Sept. 11. The nine plaintiffs subsequently filed an appeal of the court's decision denying the preliminary injunction as well as a motion for an expedited hearing.
On Oct. 29, the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia denied plaintiffs' motion for an expedited hearing.
"Thus far, the plaintiffs in this lawsuit have failed to establish any right to a delay in the implementation of COOL. Congress should not intervene legislatively at this juncture and should allow the legal process to move forward to its conclusion."
The rules, which go into effect on Nov. 23, require that meat products are clearly labeled with where the originating animal was born, raised and slaughtered. USCA supports the rule because they say it provides customers with additional product information. Opponents say it will cause a rift between the U.S. and trading partners Canada and Mexico.
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