Groups File Initial Court Documents In COOL LawsuitFri, 09 Aug 2013 18:10:03 CDT
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 today with the District Court in Washington, D.C. a motion 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. The motion to intervene was accompanied by a number of other documents from the four groups including a memorandum on the motion for intervention, an answer to the amended complaint and a response to plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction.
If granted intervenor status by the court, USCA, NFU, ASI and CFA will be presenting 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 August 27. A response to the motion for preliminary injunction by the U.S. Department of Justice (representing the USDA) is due to be filed today, August 9. Plaintiffs are due to file their reply to the opposition papers on the preliminary injunction motion by August 16.
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.
"This is a very important step in the intervention process," said Jon Wooster, USCA President, San Lucas, Calif. "The plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction has expedited our filings with the court. Our counsel in Washington has been working hard to get papers prepared and filed today to hopefully permit our voices to be heard at the important preliminary injunction hearing phase. USCA is fortunate to be joined in this request for intervenor status by three other groups and this joint effort provides the court with a significant representative sampling of both the U.S. livestock production sector as well as consumers. USCA will continue to release information as this process moves forward."
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