Missouri State now has a law that prevents food producers from using the term ‘meat’ to describe anything other than animal products. Do you think this law should take action in every state?
Scroll down to see how people across America voted.
Picture this: You’re strolling through the grocery store and you walk idly past the meat section. In a sectioned-off display, you see what appears to be hot dogs labeled “meatless meat.” While some would just shrug their shoulders and continue to browse, others consider this word usage to be a threat.
According to Mother Jones, Missouri residents are so upset at the label that their state legislature passed a bill in May that prohibits the word “meat” from describing anything “not derived from harvested production livestock or poultry.” Violators face a $1,000 fine and imprisonment for a year.
“Meat” doesn’t seem like it would be a sensitive topic, so why are Missourians so upset? Mike Deering, the Missouri Cattleman’s Association Executive Vice President wrote, “The use of traditional nomenclature on alternative products is confusing to consumers and weakens the value of products derived from actual livestock production.” CNBC reports that the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association also filed a petition in the Department of Agriculture to define meat. This federal petition was created in February.
Data from a Nielsen global survey shows that 39 percent of Americans were eating plant-based foods in 2017. With the new law targeting lab-grown meat and plant-based protein producers and vegetarianism gaining popularity, there are a good number of nontraditional meat producers fighting back. The Animal Legal Defense Fund, headed by Turtle Island Foods, filed an injunction in Missouri Federal Court. The plant-based producers claim that the law is not only unnecessary, but also violates their First Amendment rights.
Jessica Almy, Director of Policy at the Good Food Institute, states “Misrepresentation is already prohibited by federal law; the intent of this bill is to censor labeling terms in plant-based products.” Other plant-based meat producers welcome the challenge. Ethan Brown, CEO of Beyond Meat, states, “I think it actually could help us more than it could hurt us because it starts the national dialogue around what really is meat, and if the origin of meat really matters to the consumer.”
With the growth of lab-modified foods and the higher demand for food-substitutes, the definition of “food” seems to be changing. Do you agree with Missouri? Read this story in depth on Newsweek here.
Here’s how people on the Zip app are weighing in on this all over the country!
Missouri State now has a law that prevents food producers from using the term ‘meat’ to describe anything other than animal products. Do you think this law should take in action in every state?
Yes, define meat
No, we’re making too big of deal out of it