In a surprising and unusual move, the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia reversed direction and vacated its decision from last Friday that threw out a suit filed by various meat and livestock organization seeking an injunction against mandatory country-of-origin labeling.

“We are encouraged that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit today ruling denying AMI’s request for a preliminary injunction to block implementation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s May 2013 final rule on Country of Origin labeling,” said Mark Dopp on Friday. He is the senior vice president of regulatory affairs and general counsel for the American Meat Institute (AMI).

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The move for the court to vacate its own decision is unusual, observers say. All 11 judges who sit on the appeals court will now review the case, with oral arguments set for May 19.

“We remain hopeful that consideration of the case by the full Court will lead to an injunction against the protectionist and costly country of origin labeling rule that is hurting livestock producers and meat companies while offering little benefit to consumers,” Dopp explained.

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