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Agri-Pulse reports:

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., has denied USDA's motion to dismiss a challenge to its administration of the beef checkoff program. The decision allows the lawsuit to go forward.

R-CALF USA sued the department in September over memorandums of understanding that USDA entered into with state beef councils that were later upheld by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

But the group's new complaint says the MOUs with state programs should be declared unlawful because USDA did not seek notice and comment first.

Keep in mind:: R-CALF still has to jump through some hoops before it can argue the merits of the case before U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss. In his opinion, the judge said R-CALF had "adequately alleged the elements of associational standing," but ordered more briefing on the "factual question whether R-CALF actually has standing."

To read the Judge's opinion click here.

Moss said R-CALF faces a "tall order." The group must prove "that at least one named member has suffered or will suffer a concrete injury-in-fact that is fairly traceable to the procedural wrongs alleged in the complaint and that a favorable decision is likely to redress such injury."

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