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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?

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  • (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) 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.

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      The Government is a Bird