Judge Refuses to Block New Meat Labeling Rules

Meat in a refrigerator at Bud's Custom Meats in Riverside on Thursday, July 19, 2012. (Matt Nelson/The Gazette - KCRG-TV9)

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By Larry Burkum

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A federal judge has refused to block new rules that require the meat industry to include specific information about the origin of their products on labels. But industry groups say they'll continue fighting.

The new rules took effect in May. They require that labels for steaks, ribs and other cuts of meat include clear information about where animals grown for the meat were born, raised and slaughtered.

A judge refused to issue a preliminary order Wednesday that would've blocked the rules, though he didn't decide the overall lawsuit.

The American Meat Institute said Thursday it plans to appeal. It says the rules are too costly and don't provide any health benefits. The trade group represents meat packers, processors and suppliers.

Seven other industry groups have joined AMI's lawsuit.

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