Lawyers for almond farmers challenging the USDA’s controversial raw almond pasteurization mandate have filed new motions asking the judge to reconsider several key points in her March 9 dismissal of the lawsuit on procedural grounds. In her decision, Washington, D.C. Federal District Court judge Ellen Segal Huvelle’s ruled that the almond farmers have no right to have their substantive concerns about the raw almond treatment scheme heard in court.
Lawyers representing the farmers say that the judge’s ruling also contained several technical errors. Judge Huvelle has been asked to reconsider her decision in light of the mistakes. She will likely rule on this matter in June.
But most importantly, Judge Huvelle’s entire decision sidestepped the merits and substance of the lawsuit contesting the legality, efficacy and impacts of the raw almond pasteurization mandate. These arguments have yet to be debated in court. Should Judge Huvelle refuse to change her ruling, an appeal will be pursued at the next judicial level in an effort to win for farmers their right to be heard.
The Cornucopia Institute is continuing to assist with the farmers’ legal strategy and is fundraising for legal costs associated with that effort. “We are committed to fighting for the return to grocers’ shelves of an American-grown, highly nutritional authentic raw food that’s been eaten with confidence and enjoyment for decades,” says Cornucopia’s Will Fantle. (To help out, visit www.cornucopia.org)