What is in this article?:
- Court denies injunction in COOL case
- Some groups like the new rules, other do not
A U.S. District Judge's decision last week to deny a request for a preliminary injunction to stop USDA from implementing the new mandatory COOL rules does not represent the end of the game
Some groups like the new rules, other do not
A Farm Press sister publication, BEEF magazine, is reporting Jon Wooster, U.S. Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) president, one of the groups who favor the USDA new rules, applauded the court's ruling last week.
“We, of course, are pleased with the court’s decision to deny the preliminary injunction requested by the plaintiffs. If the injunction had been granted, it would have ensured that the U.S. would be in violation of its trade obligations under the WTO," Wooster said.
USCA, along with the National Farmers Union (NFU), American Sheep Industry Association (ASIA), and the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), became interveners in the lawsuit last month, which gives them the ability to fully participate in the lawsuit.
In spite of denying the preliminary injunction last week, the American Meat Institute, one of the nine plaintiffs in the COOL case, believes several aspects of the court’s ruling are still susceptible to challenge in court and say a plan to consider a formal appeal is underway.
Woodall warns that without the temporary injunction, there is a good chance Canada and Mexico will consider initiating a process of economic retaliation against the U.S. over what they believe are illegal rules offered up by USDA. He says another option is to look at a new farm bill as a way to "get this fixed."
According to an agricultural economist at Kansas State University, the revised policy requires packers to list individually the countries where the animal was born, raised and slaughtered. For instance, a revised label on a package of beef sirloin steak might state, “Born in Mexico, raised and slaughtered in the United States.” Before, the label for that same product more simply read, “Product of Mexico and the United States.”
“More segregation (in the labels) will lead to more cost,” said Glynn Tonsor, an associate professor of agricultural economics at KSU, and she says the end result could be higher consumer prices.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in July that his agency still plans on implementing the final rules in November unless the preliminary injunction was granted.