By Michelle C. Pardo
Four animal rights groups have submitted a joint public comment in response to the Food Safety and Inspection Service’s (FSIS) advanced notice of proposed rulemaking on the labeling of meat and poultry products comprised of or containing cultured cells derived from animals subject to the Federal Meat Inspection Act or the Poultry Products Inspection Act.
While cell-cultured or lab grown meat (also referred to as “clean meat” or “fake meat”) has been in the headlines for years, the road to federal regulation of such products and their debut on store shelves is still a work in progress. We previously blogged about animal rights groups’ efforts to stop state consumer fraud laws from limiting their ability to label and market lab-grown, insect or plant-based foods. (Read those blog entries here; here; here; and here). But, the bigger stakes (steaks?) regarding meat labeling are set to occur at the federal level during the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)’s rulemaking. Continue reading “Animal Rights Groups Don’t Want FSIS to Mandate Identification of Lab-Grown Meat Production Process on Product Labels”
by Michelle C. Pardo
Wayne Hsiung, animal activist and co-founder of Berkeley, CA-based animal rights group, Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), was found guilty by jury of felony larceny after breaking and entering and felony breaking and entering, for taking a goat from the Sospiro Goat Ranch in Transylvania County, North Carolina, back in 2018.
Hsiung, who had spearheaded DxE’s “open rescues” – illegally entering agriculture properties without permission and taking animals to liberate them – had been charged with criminal conduct in multiple jurisdictions. In the North Carolina case, Hsiung claimed that he and the other DxE “investigators” entered the ranch to identify animals that were diseased or suffering from neglect. According to the goat ranch, at the time of the “rescue” the baby goat was living with its mother and healthy and nursing well at the time of its theft. Continue reading “North Carolina Jury Hands Down Felony Convictions for Animal Activist’s “Open Rescue””
by Michelle C. Pardo
Maine voters will go to the polls today to vote up or down on whether to support a “right to food.” Today’s ballot will ask voters to decide if they want to amend the state constitution to include a right to:
“declare that all individuals have a natural, inherent and unalienable right to grow, raise, harvest, produce and consume the food of their choosing for their own nourishment, sustenance, bodily health and well-being”
Maine would be the first state to codify a right to food. Supporters of the amendment have said that approval of the amendment will “enshrine in the most fundamental form of law their right to make their own choices when feeding themselves and their families” and also will “promote locally produced food products and improve consumer health and safety.” Continue reading “Maine “Right to Food” Constitutional Amendment On the Ballot”
By John M. Simpson and Michelle C. Pardo.
In the past several days, the internet has been aflutter with reports that a U.S. court had declared infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar’s hippopotamuses to be “people.” Continue reading “Hippos Are Legally People? Actually, Not So Much”
To paraphrase Forrest Gump’s mother, congressional spending measures are “like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” This is no less true with respect the recent infrastructure bill, H.R. 3684, that passed the U.S. Senate on August 10 in engrossed amendment form. Continue reading “Roadkill Provisions of Infrastructure Bill: Needed or Just a Boondoggle?”
Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit upheld, in part, the constitutionality of an Iowa law that makes it a criminal offense to obtain access to an agricultural facility by false pretenses. Animal Legal Def. Fund v. Reynolds, No. 19-1364 (8th Cir. Aug. 10, 2021). The court reversed in part a district court ruling that the law violated the First Amendment. Continue reading “Eighth Circuit Upholds Part of Iowa “Ag Gag” Law”
By Michelle C. Pardo
On June 22, 2021, Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) and three individuals (represented by Harvard University’s Animal Law & Policy Clinic) brought an Administrative Procedure Act (APA) case against the Secretary of the Interior, the Acting Director of the National Park Service, and the Superintendent of Point Reyes National Seashore, regarding what plaintiffs allege is the federal government’s inhumane management practices of Tule elk, a species of elk native to California. At issue: the government’s alleged failure to revise the 1980 General Management Plan for the Tomales Point portion of the Point Reyes National Seashore (located in Marin County, California) where 293 Tule elk live as well as the 1998 Tule Elk Management Plan, which provided for elk restoration and conservation. Continue reading “Animal Rights Group’s “Purely Speculative” Changes to Wildlife Management Plan Don’t Support Emergency Relief for Tule Elk”
On July 27, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a summary judgment against claims that certain promotional activities funded by beef check-off funds amounted to unconstitutional compelled speech. Ranchers Cattlemen Action Legal Fund v. Vilsack, No. 20-35453 (9th Cir. July 27, 2021). Continue reading “Ninth Circuit Rebuffs Constitutional Challenge to Beef Check-Off”
In the upcoming November 2021 election, voters in Maine will be presented with an amendment to the state constitution that would establish a right to food. The measure was approved for referendum by the Maine Legislature on July 2, 2021. Continue reading “Maine Voters to Consider Adopting Constitutional Right to Food”
On June 21, 2021, the Oregon secretary of state received Initiative Petition 2022-13 (IP 13), a ballot initiative for the November 8, 2022 general election which had been captioned by the state attorney general as follows: “Criminalizes injuring/killing animals, including killing for food, hunting, fishing; criminalizes most breeding practices. Exceptions.” IP 13, which emerged last November, would have far-reaching effects in Oregon if adopted by voters next year. Continue reading “Proposed Ballot Initiative Would End Animal Protein Production and Hunting in Oregon”