LaCrosse Tribune (WI)

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Image source:
Bill Branson, Wikimedia

The National Farmers Union has agreed to intervene in a federal court case that seeks to block implementation of new U.S. meat label rules.

“We are intervening in this lawsuit in order to stand up for the USDA’s final Country-of-Origin rule,” said Darin Von Ruden, president of the Wisconsin Farmers Union.

“Farmers Union has worked for years to secure consumers’ right to know where their food comes from, and we will continue to do so until that right is secured,” he said.

Von Ruden, a Westby dairy farmer, said in a press release Tuesday that the labeling law is good for U.S. farmers and is what consumers want.

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association is part of a coalition that has asked the U.S. District Court in Washington to delay the policy to be implemented in November.

The policy would require labels on meat products sold in the United States to contain detailed information about where the products come from.

The coalition that filed the injunction argues the policy would cause irreparable harm to the U.S. meat and livestock industry by increasing costs and making it more difficult for U.S. companies to buy Canadian products.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit also include the American Association of Meat Processors, American Meat Institute, Canadian Pork Council, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Pork Producers Council, North American Meat Association and Southwest Meat Association.

In 2009, the United States issued the requirement that retail outlets put country of origin labels on meat and other products in an effort to give U.S. consumers more information about their food.

A World Trade Organization ruling on meat labeling found that the U.S. system discriminates against foreign livestock.

The United States announced this year that it wants to require even more detail on the origins of beef, pork and chicken sold in grocery stores.

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