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posted by martyb on Thursday August 30 2018, @05:57AM   Printer-friendly
from the how-can-you-get-any-pudding-if-you-don't...-what? dept.

Missouri has prohibited producers of meat alternatives, such as lab-grown/cultured meat and plant-based fake meats, from using the term "meat" to describe products not derived from harvested livestock or poultry:

On Tuesday, Missouri becomes the first state in the country to have a law on the books that prohibits food makers to use the word "meat" to refer to anything other than animal flesh. This takes aim at manufacturers of what has been dubbed fake or non-traditional meat. Clean meat -- also known as lab-grown meat -- is made of cultured animal tissue cells, while plant-based meat is generally from ingredients such as soy, tempeh and seitan.

The state law forbids "misrepresenting a product as meat that is not derived from harvested production livestock or poultry." Violators may be fined $1,000 and imprisoned for a year.

[...] The Missouri Cattlemen's Association, which worked to get the state law passed, has cited shopper confusion and protecting local ranchers as reasons for the legislation. "The big issue was marketing with integrity and...consumers knowing what they're getting," said Missouri Cattlemen's Association spokesman Mike Deering. "There's so much unknown about this."

Turtle Island Foods, which makes "Tofurky", has sued the state:

On Monday, the company that makes Tofurky filed an injunction in a Missouri federal court to prevent enforcement of the statute, alleging that the state has received no complaints about consumers befuddled by the term "plant-based meats" and that preventing manufacturers from using the word is a violation of their First Amendment rights. Plus, it pointed out, "meat" also refers to the edible part of nuts and fruit.

The statute "prevents the sharing of truthful information and impedes competition," according to documents filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. "The marketing and packaging of plant-based products reveals that plant-based food producers do not mislead consumers but instead distinguish their products from conventional meat products." The co-plaintiff is the Good Food Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group.

Deering said he was surprised by the suit, because the primary target of the law was lab-grown meat.

Also at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Oregon Live.

Previously: U.S. Cattlemen's Association Wants an Official Definition of "Meat"
Regulation Coming to Lab-Grown Meat
FDA Approves Impossible Burger "Heme" Ingredient; Still Wants to Regulate "Cultured Meat"

Related: FDA May Force Rebranding of Soy, Almond, et al. "Milks"


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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 30 2018, @06:16AM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 30 2018, @06:16AM (#728182)

    The big issue was marketing with integrity and...consumers knowing what they're getting

    Fair enough. How about prohibiting "pink slime", mechanically separated chicken, and other by-products from being labeled with the term "meat" too?

    • (Score: 2) by bradley13 on Thursday August 30 2018, @07:10AM (3 children)

      by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 30 2018, @07:10AM (#728195) Homepage Journal

      Well, yes. Meat should be defined as a product composed primarily of the tissue of slaughtered animals, which was removed intact from the carcass. "Primarily" required definition - some minor additives may be acceptable (like, sadly, the water injected into ham and bacon), but the threshold ought to be very high - 95% or more. "Intact" to eliminate grossness like "pink slime".

      However, the food industry is very good at getting its way, especially in the US. Just as an example, in the US "chocolate" only needs to contain 10% cocoa. AFAIK, the rest of the world requires 25% or more. Brown candy in the US is not chocolate, it's sugar that saw some cocoa beans from a safe distance.

      It's really about truth in labeling. "Soy milk" is not milk. "Soy meat" is not meat. Words have meanings, and for labeling purposes those meaning should be enforced.

      --
      Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
      • (Score: 4, Informative) by Gaaark on Thursday August 30 2018, @10:06AM

        by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 30 2018, @10:06AM (#728218) Journal

        Wonder what they'll do about mincemeat, which CAN (and always USED to) contain meat but rarely does today.

        --
        --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
      • (Score: 0, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 30 2018, @10:07AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 30 2018, @10:07AM (#728219)

        bradley13 is not real bradley13, I am sad to report. Read his ingredients closely.

      • (Score: 1) by exaeta on Friday August 31 2018, @01:14AM

        by exaeta (6957) on Friday August 31 2018, @01:14AM (#728521) Homepage Journal

        Here in the U.S. we call a lot of things chocolate. We also have specific labels for chocolate with high cocoa content (e.g. dark chocolate) v.s. low cocoa (e.g. white chocolate) so I would hardly call it deceptive.

        --
        The Government is a Bird
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by qzm on Thursday August 30 2018, @06:22AM (9 children)

    by qzm (3260) on Thursday August 30 2018, @06:22AM (#728186)

    Isnt it a basic human right to market soy/lentilwhatever pattied as 'meat' because, well, who needs a reason! Trump is satan!

    People should also be able to sell ground up cardboard mixed with ash and baked as cake!
    Battery acid and piss as chardonney!
    Normal tap water as pure spring mineral water from the alps! (oops, pretend I never said that)!
    Diesel as premium petrol!

    Or, just perhaps, since people have a pretty solid perception of what MEAT is, new names should be found for new products?

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by krishnoid on Thursday August 30 2018, @06:42AM (1 child)

      by krishnoid (1156) on Thursday August 30 2018, @06:42AM (#728189)

      Trump is satan!

      I think you mean "Trump is seitan [thespruceeats.com]?" Easy mistake to make.

      • (Score: 5, Touché) by Immerman on Thursday August 30 2018, @02:40PM

        by Immerman (3985) on Thursday August 30 2018, @02:40PM (#728273)

        Meaning he has a human-like texture, but none of the ethical concerns?

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 30 2018, @06:47AM (5 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 30 2018, @06:47AM (#728191)

      Cultured meat (muscle cells) is meat, but this law says it's not.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 30 2018, @07:28AM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 30 2018, @07:28AM (#728196)

        Cells grown in a lab are cells grown in a lab. The process of getting to something often plays a defining role in what it is. For instance champagne versus sparkling wine.

        The distinction here is especially important since our bodies have evolved over hundreds of thousands of years, and countless millions if we include ancestor species, to consume certain products. If e.g. a vegetarian would like to consume lab grown cells then I think they should absolutely be free to. And indeed if I see the generation after them seems to be sufficiently healthful then I might be happy to try it myself. But in the mean time I think there is a reasonably high chance of unforeseen consequences. And all I mean by this is that I think it is logical to imagine that consuming something that is similar, but different, could result in an effect that is different than consuming the original product. What will these side effects be? Who knows; they could even be positive! But as I quite enjoy the flavor and healthfulness of meat, I'm in no rush to replace it - and so people should be able to opt in to acting as guinea pigs, rather than being forced to do so as might occur if products that are not meat could labeled as such.

        • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Thursday August 30 2018, @02:47PM (3 children)

          by Immerman (3985) on Thursday August 30 2018, @02:47PM (#728276)

          You endure that "similar, but different" risk every time you eat beef, pork, or other domesticated meat (or any domesticated vegetables for that matter). We've fundamentally changed the nature of these organisms, so that their nutrient and hormone profiles barely resemble what we actually evolved to eat (and that's before you even get into all the hormones and antibiotics saturating most industrial-farmed animals).

          All you need to do is eat a selection of wild game to get a good sense of the flavor and texture differences associated with the changes we've made.

          Now, I'm all for requiring lab-grown meat to be labeled as such -but lets not pretend that the normal modern diet in any way resembles what we evolved to eat. We're already guinea pigs.

          • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 30 2018, @03:22PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 30 2018, @03:22PM (#728288)

            All you need to do is eat a selection of wild game to get a good sense of the flavor and texture differences associated with the changes we've made.

            ...and then after you're done grimacing at the gamy taste, you can go back to lovely modern steak, bacon, etc. Nitrates and all. Mmmm, bacon. :)

            Or, IOW, not all such change is bad.

            ...their nutrient and hormone profiles barely resemble what we actually evolved to eat...

            We didn't evolve to get medical care for cancer, either, yet it lengthens our lives and improves their quality. Modern meat likewise: we actually live longer and stronger and healthier, even barring the statistical twist that infant mortality used to throw in there. There's no actual need to get all that concerned about this.

            And as far as cultured meat goes... can't wait. There will no longer be any need to kill or mistreat any feeling being in order to enjoy a fine steak, etc.

            • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Friday August 31 2018, @03:26PM

              by Immerman (3985) on Friday August 31 2018, @03:26PM (#728781)

              Personally I love the flavor - tastes like something that used to be alive instead of the flavorless fat-paste typical of farmed animals.

              And nutritionally it's categorically NOT better - as a rule domesticated meat is far fattier and less nutritious than wild. Just as domesticated plants are far less nutritious and more carbohydrate rich.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 31 2018, @07:09PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 31 2018, @07:09PM (#728903)

            Completely agreed, and I think the state of American healthfulness is a product of our decision to increasingly move away from what we evolved to eat. This supports the point. If people want to eat this stuff -- more power to them, but it should be optional. And optionality necessitates proper labeling.

    • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Thursday August 30 2018, @05:00PM

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Thursday August 30 2018, @05:00PM (#728326) Journal

      Isnt it a basic human right to market soy/lentilwhatever pattied as 'meat' because, well, who needs a reason! Trump is satan!

      Nobody said that. And, we understand the difference between state and federal governments.

      But, it's good to know your persecution complex is in tip-top shape.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by RamiK on Thursday August 30 2018, @09:52AM (11 children)

    by RamiK (1813) on Thursday August 30 2018, @09:52AM (#728215)

    I don't know about you, but all other things being equal, I'd opt for cultured bovine meat over real cow meat for the simple fact it's cleaner to grow stuff in vats than have them walk around in the fields covered in shit and eating god knows what... And it's not like I'm a vegetarian or something. I don't even eat my pees and carrots when mom isn't looking!

    Seriously I haven't got a clue what they're thinking. You don't see people gut out lambs for gastric digestive juices to make yogurt or spoiling flour and water by waiting for the fungus to form for baking bread and brewing beer. So if people prefer eating yogurt from cultured bacteria and bread / beer from cultured yeast already, isn't it a really bad move for the cow farmers to want their product distinguishable from the cultured stuff? I mean, Americans can't stand seeing people not wearing gloves and hair nets in food preparation... What would happen when the cultured meat folks start running "This is how cows are raised; This is how we make cultured cow cells" ads?

    Weird.

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    compiling...
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 30 2018, @10:09AM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 30 2018, @10:09AM (#728220)

      I don't even eat my pees

      Eat, or rather, drink your pees, RamiK, and quit yer bitching. Good enough for Howard Hughes, good enough for you.

      • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Thursday August 30 2018, @04:09PM (3 children)

        by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 30 2018, @04:09PM (#728305) Homepage Journal

        Spackman's law:
                Eat solids
                Drink liquids
                Breathe gases
        Don't get them mixed up.

        • (Score: 2) by Osamabobama on Thursday August 30 2018, @05:26PM (2 children)

          by Osamabobama (5842) on Thursday August 30 2018, @05:26PM (#728333)

          Don't get them mixed up.

          In this case, it appears that 'pee' and 'pea' are getting mixed up. The latter is a vegetable often served with carrots, while the former is a colloquial term for urine.

          --
          Appended to the end of comments you post. Max: 120 chars.
          • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Thursday August 30 2018, @08:38PM (1 child)

            by RamiK (1813) on Thursday August 30 2018, @08:38PM (#728407)

            No matter since I avoid both. I hope. What Taco Bell passes for Diet Cola might very well qualify as piss by some standards...

            Regardless, people comment about my atrocious spelling all the time and it only gotten worse over the years so as far as I'm concerned the joke's on them for wasting their time on a hopeless cause :D

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            • (Score: 2) by Osamabobama on Thursday August 30 2018, @11:05PM

              by Osamabobama (5842) on Thursday August 30 2018, @11:05PM (#728472)

              ...the joke's on them for wasting their time ...

              But the time's not wasted if there's a joke involved.

              --
              Appended to the end of comments you post. Max: 120 chars.
    • (Score: 1) by pTamok on Thursday August 30 2018, @12:05PM (4 children)

      by pTamok (3042) on Thursday August 30 2018, @12:05PM (#728232)

      You don't see people [...] spoiling flour and water by waiting for the fungus to form for [...] brewing beer.

      Cough.

      Lambic [wikipedia.org]

      • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Thursday August 30 2018, @02:25PM (3 children)

        by RamiK (1813) on Thursday August 30 2018, @02:25PM (#728267)

        Hate to burst your bauble but Lambic moved to cultured strains half a decade ago ( http://craftbeercellar.com/blog/blog/2013/03/06/a-tale-of-two-bretts-bruxellensis-and-lambicus/ [craftbeercellar.com] ). And btw, I actually have a friend that brews those and he says the cultures are much better than the "wild strains".

        More importantly, they weren't really wild to begin with since the region been culturing them indirectly by "feeding" them only when they performed well. That is, poor tasting strains concentrated in certain areas were starved out since the locals didn't continue brewing there. Cultured by invisible hand if you will...

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        • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Thursday August 30 2018, @02:29PM

          by RamiK (1813) on Thursday August 30 2018, @02:29PM (#728268)

          bubble... too much Darkest Dungeon.

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          compiling...
        • (Score: 1) by pTamok on Thursday August 30 2018, @05:07PM (1 child)

          by pTamok (3042) on Thursday August 30 2018, @05:07PM (#728328)

          Lambic-style maybe, but in the EU, Lambic is a protected designation, and AFAIK requires that the beer has undergone spontaneous fermentation.

          Pop this into your translation engine of choice:

          https://www.horal.be/lambiek-geuze-kriek/juridische-bescherming [horal.be]

          There is also this paper: PLOS|ONE: The Microbial Diversity of Traditional Spontaneously Fermented Lambic Beer [plos.org]

          • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Thursday August 30 2018, @08:26PM

            by RamiK (1813) on Thursday August 30 2018, @08:26PM (#728392)

            Lambic is a protected designation

            As Camembert was. As Champagne is. As Meat will be... Look, I'm more interested in the quality of the produce rather than the local industrial protections the EU and US deploy to trade war as years go by. Would some people keep to traditional practices despite superior industrial techniques thanks to these protectionist nonsense? Sure. Would it be over quality? Never. It's always the industrial processes that end up being best. Sure, there's more room for fraud with modern processes. But that just means you need more regulations and oversight. And it's not like traditional producers don't end up exploiting new techniques to cheat as well. Look up how they fill up meat with water and such.

            So, I'm sticking with my original statement. Should it succeed, people won't just get used to. They'll prefer it. And farmers distinguishing between their product and what will end up as the superior product are just doing themselves a disfavor in the long run.

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            compiling...
    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Thursday August 30 2018, @01:29PM

      by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Thursday August 30 2018, @01:29PM (#728249) Homepage
      There are beers brewed using nothing but the yeast that floats around in the air. For example, in Pajotenland, where lambic is from, and brettanomyces and lactobacillus are king. And the rich character of old ales was caused by wild yeasts too (same strain, Brettanomyces, named after Britain because it was isolated from an old ale). Of course, there are risks, but the free market has ensured that those with the favourable terroir have a better chance of succeeding.
      --
      Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 30 2018, @12:24PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 30 2018, @12:24PM (#728237)

    Fish is neither livestock nor poultry yet it is meat.

  • (Score: 2) by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us on Thursday August 30 2018, @01:59PM

    by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us (6553) on Thursday August 30 2018, @01:59PM (#728255) Journal

    Do what the producers of Waterworld et. al. did. Beat them at their own game. [smeat.net]

    --
    Keep everyone ignorant of the magical world! KEEP AMERICA OBLIVIATE!
  • (Score: 2, Funny) by nitehawk214 on Thursday August 30 2018, @04:31PM

    by nitehawk214 (1304) on Thursday August 30 2018, @04:31PM (#728313)

    Seems like they are trying to avoid a lawsuit. Like they put rat poison in it or something. Somebody says "Hey, this ain't butter!" They can say "We never said it was. We just said we couldn't believe it wasn't! So grease up your feet and take a walk, asshole!"

    -with apologies to Richard Jeni, RIP

    --
    "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 30 2018, @05:42PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 30 2018, @05:42PM (#728337)

    So game is no longer meat in Missouri?

    • (Score: 2) by wonkey_monkey on Thursday August 30 2018, @08:29PM

      by wonkey_monkey (279) on Thursday August 30 2018, @08:29PM (#728397) Homepage

      Does hunted meat ever end up in the consumer market foodchain?

      --
      systemd is Roko's Basilisk
  • (Score: 2) by ilsa on Thursday August 30 2018, @09:01PM (3 children)

    by ilsa (6082) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 30 2018, @09:01PM (#728416)

    How exactly is lab-grown meat not meat? I can understand the plant stuff cause that's definitely not meat, but the lab-grown stuff is literally meat, made from cultured animal cells.

    This is statute is awfully arbitrary and very poorly thought out. No surprise it's being challenged.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 30 2018, @10:04PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 30 2018, @10:04PM (#728445)

      This is basically getting ahead of the people who mix it then call it meat.

      It is basically how we ended up with USDA and FDA. People were mixing all sorts of things together and calling it cheese or milk.

      This is probably an instance where someone was calling something it was not and the USDA/FDA was a bit behind. Also food laws are not uniform across the united states. They can vary state to state and city to city.

      This is unfortunately terribly common in the food industry. See the many names of sugar. Most people would call it fraud. But it is not technically against the law.

      • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday August 31 2018, @04:56AM (1 child)

        by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Friday August 31 2018, @04:56AM (#728619) Journal

        Top-tier lab-grown meat could become superior in quality to any traditionally harvested meat. No need to throw in low quality parts if you don't grow them in the first place. But there are various forms of pink slime out there right now, and they are still considered meat under the law.

        --
        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 31 2018, @07:15PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 31 2018, @07:15PM (#728910)

          Much of what you know as meat is not just the flavor/nutrients from the cells, but from how the animals lived. For instance there is a substantial difference in flavor between free range and caged/fed chickens. And similarly the texture of meats tend to be reflective of the lifestyle of the animal that it is harvested from.

          These cells grown in labs will have substantial additional additives, flavorings, colors, and processing added to try to mimic the flavor/color/texture/etc of real meat. They're never going to become superior to the 'real' thing, which is really another argument for them carving out their own niche rather than trying to act as a replacement for meat. If people want to eat lab grown cells then more power to them, and it's entirely possible people could develop a pallet for these products even without them attempting to mimic the flavors and textures of meat.

  • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Monday September 03 2018, @11:20PM

    by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 03 2018, @11:20PM (#730020) Homepage Journal

    When I visited England, a few years ago, I discovered burgers containing vegetarian patties.
    They were delicious.
    There was no attempt whatsoever to imitate meat to claim it was a meat substitute, or to emulate the flavour of meat.
    Just patties made of vegetables, and they were delicious.

    -- hendrik

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