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Court Victory: Consumers Have a Right to Know About Their Food

July 29th, 2014
Center for Food Safety

DC Circuit Court Upholds Country Of Origin Labeling Rules

Today, the Washington D.C. Court of Appeals upheld the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) rule which requires information about where meat is raised and slaughtered. USDA drafted COOL rules in 2009 and finalized them in 2013. The American Meat Institute (AMI), a trade association representing meat packers and processors, sued USDA over the rules in 2014, arguing that the COOL rules violate free speech protections. A federal district court and an appeals court denied an injunction, but asked the full Court of Appeals to review the decision.

Today the court ruled that the mandatory COOL labeling rules do not violate the 1st Amendment commercial speech test.

“We applaud the DC Circuit decision, which is an important victory for the U.S. public’s right to know how their food is produced. The Court confirmed that manufacturers do not have the right to avoid basic factual disclosures about their food products,” George Kimbrell, senior attorney at Center for Food Safety.

Center for Food Safety (CFS) filed an amicus brief in the case in support of the government. Read the brief here.

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