JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri legislature moved a bill forward that prohibits a product that does not come from livestock to be marketed as “meat.”
The omnibus bill sponsored by state senator Brian Munzlinger passed with a 125-22 vote. Missouri is the first state to enact the rule.
The Missouri Cattlemen’s Association released a statement in support of their decision.
"This isn't a Missouri issue. This is about protecting the integrity of the products that farm and ranch families throughout the country work hard to raise each and every day," said Mike Deering, executive vice president of the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association. "I never imagined we would be fighting over what is and isn't meat. It seems silly. However, this is very real and I cannot stress enough the importance of this issue. We are beyond pleased to see this priority legislation cross the finish-line."
Recently, lawmakers in France approved a measure that would ban the use of “meat terms” to describe plant-based reproductions of meats.
Meat industry stakeholders in the United States have launched a campaign aimed at labeling plant-based facsimiles of meat. In early April, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) released its “Principles for Regulating Fake Meat” in response to products such as the Beyond Burger and Impossible Foods’ Impossible Burger.
"This legislation does not stifle technology, but it does ensure the integrity of our meat supply and reduces consumer confusion,” Deering said. “We must ensure that those products do not mislead consumers into thinking those products are actually meat produced by farm and ranch families. The use of traditional nomenclature on alternative products is confusing to consumers and weakens the value of products derived from actual livestock production."
In February, the US Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) petitioned the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the US Dept. of Agriculture to implement labeling requirements that would exclude products not derived from animals from the definition of “beef” and “meat,” and limit the broader definition of “meat” to animal flesh or tissues harvested in a traditional manner.