August 1, 2014

UPDATE: D.C. Circuit Clarifies Standard for Required Factual Disclosures

Holland & Knight Regulatory Litigation Blog
Christine N. Walz

The D.C. Circuit issued its en banc opinion in American Meat Institute v. U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Court agreed with the panel's decision and specifically held that the test for assessing government mandates requiring disclosure of "purely factual and uncontroversial information" is whether the disclosure requirements are related to a substantial State interest. 

The Court held that this standard applies to all substantial State interests, not only the State interest in correcting misleading or confusing commercial speech.  The Court held that the interests implicated by the regulation -- including what the Court referred to as "the demonstrated consumer interest in extending country-of-origin labeling to food products and the individual health concerns and market impacts that can arise in the event of a food-borne illness outbreak"--were substantial.

The Court did not decide whether lesser State interests could justify the application of this standard.

For a discussion of the panel's decision, see the Holland & Knight Regulatory Litigation Blog post from May 8, 2014.

American Meat Institute v. U.S. Department of Agriculture, No. 13-5281 (D.C.Cir. 2014).

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