Organizations requesting that country-of-origin labeling (COOL) be reversed attended a two-hour court hearing on Aug. 27 in Washington, D.C., seeking a preliminary injunction to stop the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from implementing its COOL regulations. U.S. District Court Judge Ketanji Jackson gave no indications of her leanings but pledged to rule within two weeks on the injunction request.
In July, nine groups representing a segment of the meat industry sued USDA in U.S. District Court to overturn COOL. The groups argue that the final COOL rule violates the Constitution, exceeds USDA's authority under the Agricultural Marketing Act and "runs afoul of the Administrative Procedure Act." The groups are requesting an injunction while the lawsuit is pending.
Last week, the court granted a motion by several organizations to intervene in the lawsuit. The motion grants the U.S. Cattlemen's Association, National Farmers Union, the American Sheep Industry Association and Consumer Federation of America intervenor status.