August 16, 2013
The United States Cattlemen's Association (USCA), joined by National Farmers Union (NFU), the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) and the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), filed documents in the District Court in Washington, D.C., to intervene in the lawsuit filed on July 8 by nine plaintiffs seeking an end to the U.S. country of origin labeling (COOL) program.
If granted intervenor status, USCA, NFU, ASI and CFA will present arguments in defense of the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) regulations on COOL. A decision by the court on the motion for intervenor status will hopefully be made in the near future but there is no specific time limit for such decisions.
A hearing on the plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction is scheduled for Aug. 27.
The lawsuit seeking an end to the implementation and enforcement of USDA-AMS COOL regulations was filed on July 8 by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, American Meat Institute, North American Meat Association, Canadian Cattlemen's Association, Canadian Pork Council, National Pork Producers Council, American Association of Meat Processors, Southwest Meat Association and Mexico's National Confederation of Livestock Organizations.
"ASI policy for nearly 20 years has supported identification of lamb by origin," said Peter Orwick, ASI executive director. "The association committed $7,500 from the ASI Guard Dog Fund toward the legal expenses of the coalition's effort to maintain the COOL program."
Fundraising for the U.S. Cool Defense Fund include events that are planned for the following locations:
- Aug. 19, Noon - Faith Livestock Market-Rollover Sale, Faith, S.D.
- Aug. 21, 5:30 p.m. - Dean's Steakhouse-Fundraiser Dinner, Mandan, N.D.
- Aug. 23, Noon - St. Onge Livestock Market-Rollover Sale, St. Onge, S.D.
- Aug. 26, 10:30 a.m. - Marias Fairgrounds-Meeting/Update hosted by Marias River Livestock Association, Shelby, Mont.
- Aug. 27, Noon - Lewistown Livestock Auction-Rollover Sale, Lewistown, Mont.
- Aug. 28, 6:30 p.m. - Beartooth Fertilizer-Meeting/Update, Fox, Mont.
- Aug. 29, Noon - Mobridge Livestock Auction-Rollover Sale, Mobridge, S.D.
Individual sheep producers are encouraged to contribute to the defense fund. A complete list of event details and information, as well as supporting documents on COOL, is available at the U.S. COOL Defense Fund website at www.uscooldefensefund.org