Consumer Law

Ranchers and Beef Consumers Push to Renew a Lawsuit Against Beef Manufacturers

New Mexico cattle ranchers and beef consumers asked a 10th Circuit panel Monday to revive a lawsuit against beef manufacturers over cattle that are raised overseas but labeled as products of the United States.

In January 2020 a class of meat consumers and New Mexico ranchers sued Tyson Foods, Cargill Meat Solutions, JBS USA Food Company and National Beef Packing Company for mislabeling cattle raised overseas and shipped to the U.S. for slaughter and packaging as “products of the U.S.”

A federal judge granted Tyson’s motion to dismiss in November 2020. Plaintiffs Robin Thornton and Michael Lucero appealed.

“We have a situation where we have floating feed lots that come across the ocean under really no regulation whatsoever, they offload cattle, stand on American soil for minutes, maybe hours,” said attorney Blair Dunn, of the firm Western Agriculture, Resource and Business Advocates. “Then they’re still receiving that same label, even though they didn’t really breathe much of the air here in this country, or eat much of the feed here,” Dunn said.

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