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Foes in meat label issue face off online

By South Dakota Ag Connection

A battle has occurred over what’s cool online.

Make that “COOL,” as in country-of-origin labeling for meat.

J. Dudley Butler, former administrator of the USDA Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration, is now cocounsel representing R-CALF USA, Food & Water Watch, South Dakota Stockgrowers Association and the Western Organization of Resource Councils in their legal action to defend country-of-origin labeling against the lawsuit filed in July by meatpacker lobby groups.

Butler squared off recently with meatpacker attorney John Dillard, who represents the North American Meatpackers Association, one of the nine meatpacker-lobby plaintiffs in the lawsuit challenging the final COOL rule that took effect Nov. 23.

The two lawyers debated the merits of COOL for nearly two hours on the Internet via a webinar sponsored by the National Agricultural Law Center in Fayetteville, Ark.