A federal appeals court is allowing labels on certain cuts of meat to say where the animals were born, raised and slaughtered.
According to reports, the appeals court decision issued Friday dismissed an attempt by some in the meat industry to block the rules, which took effect last year and require packaged steaks, ribs and other cuts of meat to include country of origin labels. The industry has long fought the labels, saying they are costly and provide no health benefits to the consumer.
In court, the meat industry said the rules go beyond what Congress intended and violate First Amendment rights to freedom of speech. The industry argued that the rules violate the U.S. Constitution because they force meat producers to provide information about their products, and that the information is of no real value to the consumer.
Judge Stephen F. Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled those claims were unlikely to succeed in court and refused to block the labeling rules, agreeing with a lower federal court.
Some ag groups applauded the ruling. Those groups included R-CALF USA, Food & Water Watch, the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association and the Western Organization of Resource Councils, all of which had taken part in the case.