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posted by Fnord666 on Tuesday February 27 2018, @01:37AM   Printer-friendly
from the it's-what's-for-dinner dept.

The U.S. Cattlemen's Association has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop an official definition for terms like "meat" and "beef", as plant-based alternatives to meats continue to grow in popularity and lab-grown/cultured meat may be coming soon:

Companies like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat are combining plant-based ingredients and science, rather than animals, to create fake-meat burgers and other products that taste like the real thing.

Now U.S. Cattlemen's Association is looking to draw a line in the sand. The association launched what could be the first salvo in a long battle against plant-based foods. Earlier this month, the association filed a 15-page petition with the U.S. Department of Agriculture calling for an official definition for the term "beef," and more broadly, "meat."

"While at this time alternative protein sources are not a direct threat to the beef industry, we do see improper labeling of these products as misleading," said Lia Biondo, the association's policy and outreach director. "Our goal is to head off the problem before it becomes a larger issue."

[...] While these foods are commonly dubbed "fake meat," there's a little more to the meat-substitute market than that. The Good Food Institute, which advocates a sustainable food supply, breaks it down into two categories: clean meat and plant-based meat. Clean meat refers to "meat" grown in a lab from a small amount of animal stem cells. This kind of meat isn't on the market yet, but it's in development. Plant-based meat is anything that mimics traditional meat but is made mainly using plant ingredients.

Here's an idea: define "meat" for the Cattlemen's Association, then tax it with an exemption for "lab-grown meat".

Related: Lab-Grown Pork Closer to Reality
Lab-Grown Chicken (and Duck) Could be on the Menu in 4 Years
Inside the Strange Science of the Fake Meat that 'Bleeds'
Impossible Foods Just Raised $75 Million for Its Plant-based Burgers
Cargill, Bill Gates, Richard Branson Backed Memphis Meats Expects Meat From Cells in Stores by 2021
Meat Tax Proposed for Sake of Human and Environmental Health.


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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by takyon on Tuesday February 27 2018, @04:40AM (4 children)

    by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Tuesday February 27 2018, @04:40AM (#644470) Journal

    That's the point. We can't really say what the apples and the daggers are just by saying "GMOs are bad, mmkay". Except pretty small and well-understood edits are being made with GMOs.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 27 2018, @04:52AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 27 2018, @04:52AM (#644479)

    > ,...well-understood edits ...

    Give me a break, we are so far from really understanding all the functionality built into a genome that it's not even funny. Edits done by shooting genes into cells are being done to give specific mutations, like immunity to Roundup, and very little testing is being done on any long term consequences.

    The business seems to be getting a bit more precise with CRISPR but it's still based on making money, not on making things really better overall. And business it is, given the legal department of Monsanto (et al) who have been reported to sue farmers next to test fields when the neighbor accidentally "stole" the new product after it blew over the property line.

    • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 27 2018, @05:30AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 27 2018, @05:30AM (#644492)

      Where's your evidence that GMOs are harmful?

      • (Score: 2, Touché) by redneckmother on Tuesday February 27 2018, @03:20PM

        by redneckmother (3597) on Tuesday February 27 2018, @03:20PM (#644639)

        Monsanto and Bayer stock prices?

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      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 27 2018, @04:41PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 27 2018, @04:41PM (#644663)

        > Where's your evidence that GMOs are harmful?

        No evidence needed at this early stage of GMO development. I claim that the proponents have to prove to me (the customer) that they have tested enough to prove that it's safe for *me*. This has to include very broad testing, people with different allergies, all the corner cases that differentiate one person from another. Historically, introducing new things into the food chain has been a very slow process and the "testing" was done in a fairly uncontrolled manner by countless of our ancestors (to the detriment of some of them!)

        I suggest that this is on the same order of the testing required to show that self-driving cars will approach the "competence" of an un-impaired, mature driver -- billions or trillions of miles.