Support Requiring Meat Companies to Disclose Origin of Product

packaged meat

Target: Circuit Executive of the U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit, Betsy Paret

Goal: Applaud overruling of the meat industry’s attempt at non-disclosure of meat country of origin

Not too long ago, Congress required that meat corporations will be required to disclose their products’ country of origin. In attempts to stifle transparency, the meat industry fought back with a lawsuit, claiming that disclosing countries of origin on their packaging violated their first amendment rights. Recently, the Court of Appeals struck down the meat industry’s challenge, insisting that consumers’ right to know trumps any violation claims the meat industry may make.

Livestock producers, meat packers and feedlot operators, with the American Meat Institute at the lead, stood up for their “freedom of speech,” fighting against the assumed burden of compelled speech. The meat alliance insisted that a country of origin labeling law would severely impact the way meat is produced and packaged within the United States. In reality, as the Court of Appeals argued, labeling would allow consumers to avoid meat from certain countries that may be experiencing animal disease. Transparency is best practice when it comes to the food consumers feed themselves and their families.

Corporations should not be allowed to use the First Amendment to avoid transparency. Knowledge of meat origin is extremely important in fighting against disease within the United States. This labeling law will also allow consumers to know if meat has been co-mingled- meat from different countries all in one package. The more consumers know about meat, the less likely they are to eat it in mass amounts. Applaud the U.S. Court of Appeals for standing up for consumers’ right to know.


Dear Betsy Paret,

Recently, the American Meat Institute led a group of American meat producers, packers and operators to the Court of Appeals, claiming a First Amendment rights violation. The meat alliance felt sequestered due to a new law requiring a “country of origin” label on packaged meat within the U.S.  I commend the U.S. Court of Appeals for standing up for consumers’ right to know, ruling against the amendment violation and for transparency.

Knowledge of where meat comes from is necessary for defending Americans against food illness. Not to mention, the more Americans know about where their food comes from, the more likely they are to choose healthier food and consume less meat. Co-mingled packaging may hinder appetites; nevertheless, transparency is of utmost importance.

Thank you for taking a stand for consumers’ right to know. I urge you and your colleagues to continue holding corporations accountable for their products.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Vask via Wikipedia

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One Comment

  1. Myrna Burdick says:

    What country the meat comes from, I want to know what factory farm it comes from and the state.
    As we hear more and more horror stories about the abuse in the factory farms and in the slaughter houses around this country, no wonder the “industry” wants to hide behind the
    First Amendment or any other reason to hide their “little shop of horrors”.

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