Meat Industry Gets Court To Vacate Decision In Favor of COOL Regulation


by Long Island Attorney Paul A. Lauto, Esq.

The American Meat Industry (AMI) has succeeded in delivering yet another blow to consumers, by getting the U.S. Court of Appeals to vacate a recent decision in favor of the USDA’s COOL (Country of Origin Labeling) regulation.  The result will be the re-hearing of the case in May, by all eleven judges in the circuit.

The USDA took a stand for consumers by implementing COOL, which requires  labeling of certain meats to disclose the countries where cattle was born, raised and slaughtered.  One of the premises behind the regulation is that since cattle may be born, raised and slaughtered in three different countries, consumers have the right to know where their meats are coming from.  The AMI submits that COOL violates the first amendment by compelling speech that is factual in nature and of no health benefit to consumers.

The outcome of this case is relevant to all consumer label movements, as it centers on the consumer’s right to know what is in the food we eat.  In the U.S., many harmful food ingredients are hidden from consumers under the toxic veil of a food label.  The USDA, which is far from perfect, implements a regulation that truly favors consumers, only to be brought down by the AMI.  Perhaps the adage, “No good deed goes unpunished” is true after all.

Long Island Lawyer
Paul A. Lauto, Esq. 

Paul A. Lauto, Esq.
Paul A. Lauto, Esq. completed his undergraduate studies at SUNY at Stony Brook in 1987, with a major in political science and a double minor in socio-legal studies and moral-legal issues in philosophy. Mr. Lauto received his Juris Doctor from New York Law School in 1990 and was admitted in 1991 to practice in the courts of New York State, as well as the Eastern and Southern Districts of the United States District Court.

Mr. Lauto has primarily focused on personal injury throughout his career and previously worked as in-house counsel to a major insurance company. In 2002 Mr. Lauto established Paul A. Lauto, PLLC, with a primary concentration on personal injury, all types of accident cases, Wills, Trusts and Estates and more. Paul is the sole author of his Scales of Justice blog, which provides updates and information about current legal stories in the news and how they may affect our lives. Mr. Lauto prides himself on providing clients maximum results, with a high level of personal attorney service and attention that is uncommon in the profession. For more information please visit