Judge Nixes Hormel Suit Over Rivals' 'Natural' Labels

Law360, New York (September 8, 2011, 5:32 PM EDT) -- A Washington federal judge on Thursday tossed Hormel Foods Corp.'s lawsuit claiming the U.S. Department of Agriculture gave its competitors an unfair advantage by allowing them to label meat products containing sodium or potassium lactate as “natural.”

U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton concluded that the USDA's alleged decision not to rescind its approval of Hormel's rivals' labels for products containing the preservatives did not constitute a final agency action, so the company could not bring a claim under the Administrative Procedure Act.

Hormel's suit, lodged...
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