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Lawsuits & Litigation

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Industry Groups Ask Congress to Rescind Parts of COOL to Avoid Tariffs

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In a letter to Congress on Thursday, numerous U.S. manufacturing and agricultural interests formally began a campaign to remove elements of the country of-origin labeling (COOL) laws which apply to muscle cuts of meat. They say Congress should act now to rescind offending COOL language before final adjudication by the World Trade Organization (WTO) early next… Continue Reading

Prosecutors Says Inconsistencies Among Verdicts Aren’t Grounds for Acquitting Michael Parnell

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Government attorneys have asked U.S. District Court Judge W. Louis Sands to deny Michael Parnell’s motion for acquittal on the charges for which a jury found him guilty after a nearly eight-week trial. In its first response to post-trial motions made by all three defendants in the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) case, the prosecution… Continue Reading

Government Says Salmonella Controls DeCoster Practiced in Maine Were Not Followed in Iowa

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When 550 million shell eggs were recalled from two Iowa farms in 2010 as the nation experienced an outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis (SE), Austin “Jack” DeCoster owned or controlled the largest egg production conglomerate in the U.S. Government attorneys say he knew more than he’s let on about controlling the pathogen, and they plan to… Continue Reading

Iowa Beef Producer Charged With Falsifying Halal Shipments

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An alleged scheme to export beef falsely labeled as eligible for sale to customers in Indonesia and Malaysia has prompted a federal grand jury to indict an elderly Iowa businessman on 19 felonies. William B. Aossey Jr., 73, will make his first appearance Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa. The… Continue Reading

Another Lawsuit Filed to Block EPA Approval of Enlist Duo Herbicide

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The Center for Food Safety and Earthjustice filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) challenging the approval of Dow Chemical’s Enlist Duo herbicide, a blend of 2,4-D and glyphosate. The suit was filed in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of Beyond Pesticides, Center for Biological Diversity, Center… Continue Reading

PCA Post-Trial Events Turn Secretive, But Potential Appeal Arguments Emerge

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In the 75 weeks between the indictment and the start of the trial, and during the eight-week jury trial, the criminal cases against former Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) executives have largely played out in public. But since the jury handed down guilty verdicts a month ago, many of the orders, motions, and documents filed… Continue Reading

Settlement Reached in GRAS Lawsuit Against FDA

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has agreed to finalize its rule for the process of determining food substances as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS). The decision is part of a settlement agreement with the Center for Food Safety (CFS), which sued the agency last February, seeking to vacate FDA’s 1997 proposed rule on GRAS. The… Continue Reading

Government Settles on Plea Deal With Rancho Yardman

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Eugene D. Corda, 65, the top yardman responsible for receiving cattle and moving them for inspection and slaughter at Rancho Feeding Corporation’s slaughterhouse in Petaluma, CA, has very likely become a government witness. Under terms of a sealed plea agreement with government attorneys, Corda has now pleaded guilty to just a single count contained the… Continue Reading

Government Gets More Time to Respond to DeCoster’s No-Jail Argument

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Because the defense attorney for Austin “Jack” DeCoster has raised a “novel constitutional issue that appears to be a matter of first impression,” assistant U.S. District Attorney Peter E. Deegan Jr. has asked the judge for more time to respond. DeCoster, who is awaiting sentencing on a federal misdemeanor, claims he cannot be incarcerated or… Continue Reading

Perdue Will Remove Its ‘Humanely Raised’ Label to Settle HSUS Lawsuits

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Perdue has agreed to remove the “humanely raised” claim from the labels on its Harvestland chicken packaging. In exchange, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) will drop two class-action lawsuits filed against the company in 2010 and 2013 in which the plaintiffs argued that the claim was a misleading one. Some research suggests… Continue Reading