Missouri Considering Ban On Calling Meat Alternatives 'Meat'

The bill's sponsors reportedly have links to the meat industry
The proposals want to limit use of the word 'meat' to produced derived from livestock and poultry (Photo: Impossible Foods)

A bill which would ban meat alternative products from being labeled 'meat' is being considered by the Missouri Legislature.

Under the proposal, producers of clean meat (cultured in a lab) and plant-based meat would be prohibited from labeling their products as such.

Only traditional meat procured from the production of livestock or poultry could bear the name.

Links to industry

According to reports the bill's sponsors are connected with the meat industry. This has led to speculation that the bill (House Bill 2607) - which has passed two committees of the Missouri House of Representatives but currently has no further action scheduled - is about industry squashing the competition, rather than clarity for consumers.

Speaking to The Intercept, Rep. Deb Lavender said: "As other substitutes come forward in the marketplace, I think our agricultural community is getting concerned about the loss of share, share of the market that they may have.

"People are not going to mistake a veggie burger for a hamburger. And so, to think that we need to have anybody selling foods in Missouri have a different label is just a little bit unreasonable."

Beef farmers say they want the bill passed to protect consumers

Disruptors

The proposed bill follows the US Cattlemen’s Association [USCA] filing a petition with the US Department of Agriculture asking it to narrow the definition of 'meat' to flesh from traditionally-reared livestock earlier this year.

According to the USCA, it wants these changes to be made 'to eliminate the likelihood of confusion and to better inform consumers'.

But the Association has also faced accusations of trying to quash competition. The Good Food Institute [GFI] which works to facilitate a healthy, humane, and sustainable food supply, says: "The Cattlemen’s Association should support a fair marketplace and take cues from others in the meat industry, including Tyson, Cargill, Maple Leaf Foods, and PHW Group, that are seeing the future and adapting accordingly. Better to be a part of the transformation than be left behind."

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself. 

Reuse this content
PBN Contributor:

Maria is the Editor of Plant Based News. A former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaChiorando and Instagram @mariachiorando.

(c)2018 Plant Based News LTD. All Rights Reserved.

Join the conversation

Since you're here...
Plant Based News is a FREE service that receives millions of views each week on YoutubeFacebookInstagramTwitterour weekly newsletter and this website. This takes a lot of our personal time, money and hard work. But we do it because we KNOW it makes a difference. If those following our reporting helped by contributing, we could do even more. Please consider supporting us so we can create further awareness about animal rights, environmentalism, ethical consumerism and the plant-based lifestyle. Not a false narrative - but information that empowers people to make better choices.

Support Plant Based News

It's World Vegan Day