A federal court will consider a lawsuit against the Beef Checkoff. Food Safety News reports anything from a dismissal to a temporary restraining order for the plaintiffs could occur. The challenge to the Beef Checkoff was filed this spring in a Billings, Montana federal court. The Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund of the Stockgrowers of America, or R-CALF, filed the lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees checkoff programs. R-CALF claims checkoff money is being used to promote international and domestic beef, and that there is no way for ranchers to opt out of the fee. R-CALF was a supporter of U.S. Country of Origin Labeling and CEO Bill Bullard says: “there is now a worldwide effort to render the origins of U.S. cattle irrelevant on a global scale.” Bullard says Montana ranchers, and others, deserve the option to opt-out of the worldwide effort. USDA says there is an opt-out option for producers, and is seeking dismissal. Government attorneys argue R-CALF lacks standing to continue the case.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.