A new law in Mississippi(1) makes it illegal to refer to plant and cell-culture based patties as 'burgers'.
The law would also prohibit the use of "burger" or "dog" in relation to vat-grown, cell-based food, which is made of meat. The statute reserves these appelations for foodstuffs derived from "slaughtered livestock."
The law has naturally been challenged by parties such as the Good Food Institute and the American Civil Liberties Union among others. In a nutshell
The contention on the meat industry side is:
Mike McCormick, president of the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation: "This bill will protect our cattle farmers from having to compete with products not harvested from an animal."
The contention on the other side is:
"There's nothing misleading about the name of a veggie burger, or vegan hot dog, or seitan bacon," Almy, a lawyer on the Missouri case, told me. "The packages clearly disclose that this is plant-based food that has the taste or texture of this familiar food."
A typical American would likely fall somewhere between these two views.
I fully understand (and at times enjoy) 'veggie burgers', however I had to look up 'seitan bacon' (FYI - a traditional Japanese wheat based food that is meat-like) and would not have known what it was at a glance (does super-seitan bacon go to 9000 calories?)
So where do patrons of Soylent Words-Related-to-Current-Happenings fall on this one?
(1) - Note TFA bounces between Missouri and Mississippi actions. There are similar labeling laws in both states. SB 627 in Missouri and SB 2922 in Mississippi.
Related: U.S. Cattlemen's Association Wants an Official Definition of "Meat"
Regulation Coming to Lab-Grown Meat
Don't care... on the one hand, I'm for free speech etc. So if they get to keep calling those things burgers I won't complain too much. But honestly I do find it objectionable to refer to something with no hamburger at all as a burger, or no actual mystery meats as a hotdog. Just call it a veggie patty, and don't bother with the dogs.
Honestly, I personally find this obsession with fake hamburgers, hot dogs, sausages, etc. rather odd. If I had to give up all meats suddenly, I could do it, but with Indian, middle eastern, various asian cuisines, and I'm sure some African countries all having strong vegetarian cuisines as well as I'm sure plenty of fine indigenous (US) vegetarian recipes around, I simply would rather have the nuts, chickpeas, tofu, etc. as they stand in these dishes rather than trying to make them resemble some kind of meat. (The trick with tofus, btw, is the different types.. those tiny gross little white cubes are "soft" tofu, if you get a hard tofu you get bigger pieces that absorb flavors nicely in a stir fry or whatever, and if the outside gets browned it develops nice flavors off the ones it's absorbed.)
It's about money. The Monsanto model was to create a seed that they could claim intellectual property rights on, and then interweaving with the government to gradually begin to enforce a transition to their patented inventions. As but one example, Monsanto worked with the government to offer major farmer insurance discounts but only to growers of their patented seeds. Farmers don't make much money as is and so this was a major driver in the migration to Monsanto seed.
There's not only no reason to think a similar thing could not be done with meat, but it would also be incomparably more profitable. Americans consume a shocking 200 pounds [marketwatch.com] of meat a year. Convert that to "meat(tm)" and one company (or an oligopoly as it may end up being), and their lovely friends within regulatory and other government agencies, would stand to print just immense amounts amount of money.