The imposition of COL has been vehemently opposed by meatpackers for more than a decade in a fight led by the American Meat Institute.
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North American meat producers lost again this week in a bid to suspend the revised country-of-origin (COL) labeling regulation, as the full U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Columbia upheld by 9-2 an earlier ruling by a three-judge panel that USDA’s labeling requirements neither violate meatpackers’ free speech rights nor exceed the department’s authority.
(Interestingly, Judge Janice Rogers-Brown vehemently dissented, writing that the majority opinion means “A business owner no longer has a constitutionally protected right to refrain from speaking, as long as the government wants to use the company’s product to convey ‘purely factual and uncontroversial speech.’ ” She wrote that the court’s decision “hacks the First Amendment down to fit in the government’s hip pocket. I will not join in the carnage.”)