Missouri Passes Bill Limiting Meat Labels to Dead Animals
Those in opposition to the bill—which purports it is alleviating consumer confusion around plant-based products—believe its passing is wrongly motivated by eliminating meat-industry competition.
Missouri legislators approved a bipartisan bill that hinders the ability for both plant-based and clean meat (grown from a small amount of animal cells in a laboratory setting) to be marketed with terminology they deem only pertains to animal products. Senate Bill 627—which passed by a vote of 125 to 22—is an amendment to the state’s existing agriculture and conservation laws which were enacted in 1971. “This act also prohibits misrepresenting a product as meat that is not derived from harvested production [of] livestock or poultry,” the provision states. Lawmakers in favor of the bill argue that limiting the use of “meat” terms to animal-derived products eliminates consumer confusion. “We’re not trying to mislead anyone,” Representative Jeff Knight (R) said. “We’re just trying to protect our product.” Several Missouri lawmakers who did not approve of the provision voiced their concerns about the the bill. “We need to embrace the future,” Representative Deb Lavender (D) said. “There are many people who are eating differently than they used to.” Representative Tracy McCreery (D) explained that she felt those in favor of the bill—which was supported by the state’s pork producers, the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, and the Missouri Farm Bureau—had ulterior motives. “I find it a little bit disrespectful of consumers,” McCreery said. “You guys are just trying to protect your marketing money.”
Jessica Almy, director of policy at food advocacy firm Good Food Institute, told VegNews that consumers are seeking out plant-based alternatives such as “beefless crumbles” and “vegan chik’n” and not accidentally purchasing them when looking for animal-derived products. “Consumers know what they’re buying when they choose plant-based meats. There’s no evidence that Missouri consumers are any different, or that they need the government to step in to police labels for their supposed benefit,” Almy said. “No one is buying “plant-based burger patties” by mistake. To suggest otherwise is both laughable and an insult to the people of Missouri.”
In February, the United States Cattlemen Association (USCA) filed a 15-page petition with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS) to define the term “beef,” which is currently open for public comment. The North American Meat Institute (NAMI)—a group that represents companies such as Tyson and Cargill—recently submitted its comments in opposition to the USCA’s petition. “It would be unwise for FSIS to adopt an interpretation that weds the livestock and meat industry to practices and procedures used today,” NAMI’s comment stated, “when tomorrow, or the next day, or the day after that, a new and better manner may come along." In 2016, Tyson launched its $150 million investment arm, Tyson New Ventures, with the express purpose of funding innovators in the food industry, and currently holds a stake in vegan brand Beyond Meat and clean-meat companies Memphis Meats and Future Meat Technologies. “Tyson, Cargill, and other meat producers now see themselves as protein companies and have invested in the future of meat,” Almy said. “This is a healthy response to the diversification of the market, and one that I’d encourage other companies and farming interests to follow.”
Dairy Farmers Make Beer as Milk Industry Sours
Massachusetts dairy farm Carter & Stevens converted part of its facility into a brewery to offset losses incurred by low prices and decreased demand for milk.
Read More »
The Hamptons Gets Its First Vegan Café
New York's luxury vacation destination will soon be home to the Plant Based Coffee Shop, where hearty vegan food will make for a cruelty-free getaway.
Read More »
CA Senate Passes Mandatory Vegan Prison-Food Bill
State prisons, nursing homes, and hospitals may soon be required to have at least one plant-based meal option.
Read More »
Natalie Portman Survives Fiery Vegan Wings on Hot Ones
The vegan actress makes her way through the gamut of hot sauces on the series as she explains her dedication to veganism and promotes documentary Eating Animals.
Read More »
Prince's Estate Pledges to Remain Meat-Free
To pay respect to the late artist—an avid animal-rights advocate and rumored vegan—Paisley Park will maintain its meat-free policy.
Read More »
- Iceland's Vegan Bleeding Burgers Outsell Wagyu Beef
- Bangalore Elects Vegan Legislative Member
- Detroit Restaurant Debuts Eight-Course Vegan Menu
- Australia's Top Airline Promotes Vegan Bacon and Eggs
- Hospital-Scented Meat Candles Debut for Father's Day
- IKEA's Doughnuts Are Vegan
- NadaMoo! Opens Its First Vegan Scoop Shop in Austin
- Moby Sells His Entire Record Collection to Help Animals
- Vegan Chain Copper Branch Expands to 60 Locations
- Five Synagogues Will Go Vegan For One Year
- Fly-Over Protest to Ruffle Feathers at Tyson
- Comedian James Corden Ditches Meat
- California Pizza Pioneer Debuts Cheesy Vegan Pie
- PayPal CEO: "Dead-Cow Wallets" to Be Obsolete by 2028
- 43 Million Americans Consume Plant-Based Protein
- NYC Vegan Pizzeria Double Zero Opens in Four States
- UK's Largest Natural Grocer to Open Massive Vegan Outlet
- Michigan Medical School Ends Live Pig Training
- Impossible Slider Is "Home Run" at White Castle
- New Vegan Bleeding Burger Debuts at Sainsbury's