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Preliminary Injunction Denied in COOL Challenge

On Wednesday, Sept. 11, U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson denied a preliminary injunction request in the lawsuit challenging USDA’s country-of-origin labeling (COOL) rule. The full opinion is available online. Plaintiffs sought the preliminary injunction in order to block the rule from taking effect until litigation was complete. The American Meat Institute issued a statement indicating that it will seek an expedited appeal of the ruling. Judge Brown did not rule on the rest of the industry’s complaint, much of which is based on freedom of expression arguments. Other participants in the lawsuit include the American Association of Meat Processors, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, Canadian Pork Council, Confedaracion Nacional de Organizaciones Ganaderas, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Pork Producers Council, North American Meat Association and the Southwest Meat Association.

The USDA rule is also being challenged by Canada and Mexico through the WTO compliance review process. A final ruling by the compliance panel is not expected until early next year.