Appeals court: Meat labels can list country of origin

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Posted: Monday, March 31, 2014 12:00 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court is allowing labels on certain cuts of meat to say where the animals were born, raised and slaughtered.

The appeals court 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 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.

Judge Stephen F. Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia wrote that the labeling “enables a consumer to apply patriotic or protectionist criteria in the choice of meat,” and “enables one who believes that United States practices and regulation are better at assuring food safety than those of other countries, or indeed the reverse, to act on that premise.”

He said those goals are worthy of what he called a “minimal” intrusion on the meat industry’s First Amendment rights.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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