The U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia upheld mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL) for meat and meat products. The 9-2 decision supports an earlier appellate court ruling which determined that labeling was needed to prevent deception. Judge Stephen Williams cited consumer interest and health concerns, saying the government’s interest in country-of-origin labeling for food make the interest substantial.
National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson called the decision a victory in the battle to uphold the enforcement of the COOL regulation. He says that American consumers want to know where their meat comes from, and livestock producers, proud of what they produce, are happy to let consumers know where it comes from.
The meat industry and some livestock groups have attempted to block COOL, saying compliance with the rule is costly and it provides no health benefits to consumers.