Meat sourcing labels to remain, U.S. court rules
The decision, issued Friday, dismissed an attempt by the meat industry to block the rules, which took effect last year and require packaged steaks, ribs, and other cuts 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 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 Circuit ruled that those claims were unlikely to succeed in court and refused to block the labeling rules, agreeing with a lower federal court.
He said those goals are worthy of what he called a "minimal" intrusion on the meat industry's First Amendment rights.