July 16, 2013
Authored by: Brandon Neuschafer
On July 8, 2013, a number of meat industry trade organizations filed suit against the USDA in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia challening USDA’s new country of original labeling (“COOL”) regulations. A copy of the complaint can be found here. In May of 2013, USDA issued immediately-effective revised COOL regulations requiring, among other things, that meat labeling make a distinction between where an animal was born, raised and slaughtered. These regulations were issued in response to a World Trade Organization dispute between the United States, Mexico and Canada over then-existing COOL regulations in the United States. Mexico and Canada have asserted that the May 2013 regulations only exacerbated the dispute. More background on the WTO dispute can be found here.
Plaintiffs assert three causes of action. First, they argue that the COOL regulations violate the First Amendment because they compel certain commercial speech