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Agricultural News

Drilling Down Into the COOL Lawsuit- Consumer Curiosity No Justification for Government Mandate

Wed, 10 Jul 2013 05:43:39 CDT

Drilling Down Into the COOL Lawsuit- Consumer Curiosity No Justification for Government Mandate

Consumer Curiosity is not enough justification for the new COOL Rule that the US Department put into place in late May as they hoped to placate the Canadian and Mexican governments who challenged their earlier COOL Rule in the WTO World Trade Court. WTO sided with Canada and Mexico, which has resulted in a rule that requires a lot more information be provided to consumers- and according to the US Meat and Livestock industry, will higher costs of doing business from the farm or ranch through the beef and pork pipelines to the supermarket.

The contention that consumer curiosity is not enough has been made in legal arguments that are the basis of a lawsuit filed on Monday of this week by eight organizations against the USDA and their new rule for Country of Origin Labeling. The groups, including

According to Kate Stetson of the law firm Hogan and Lovells, the lawsuit calls out the USDA for the new COOL rule for several reasons, including the fact that it is unconstitutional. The groups make this claim based on the following keys:

Government may compel speech only when there is a substantial government interest, e.g., a warning about a contagious disease where the warning provides public health protection

USDA has repeatedly said that COOL is not a food safety or public health benefit labeling problem

“Consumer curiosity” is not a substantial government interest.

In a telephone conference call with reporters, Stetson explains this idea that the "consumer has the right to know" is not enough to cost the livestock sectors in North America- you can hear her comments on today's Beef Buzz.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show- and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.


Ron Hays Beef Buzzes- comments from Kate Stetson on Industry Lawsuit Against USDA on COOL
right-click to download mp3


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