Full appeals court upholds country of origin labels for steaks, ribs and other cuts of meat

A federal appeals court has upheld new government rules that require labels on packaged steaks, ribs and other cuts of meat to say where the animals were born, raised and slaughtered.

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The meat industry has attempted to block the rules, saying they are costly to comply with and they provide no health benefits to the consumer.

The full appellate panel heard the case after a three-judge appeals panel ruled against the industry but suggested that the full court may want to review its decision.

Judge Stephen F. Williams wrote for the full court that the government's interest in the labels is "substantial" because there is a long history of such disclosures, a consumer interest in knowing a food's origin and health concerns if there is an illness outbreak.