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“Real MEAT” Bill Companion Introduced in Senate

A Senate companion to the House Real MEAT (Marketing Edible Artificials Truthfully) Act has been introduced in the Senate by Republican Deb Fischer. The bills propose to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to require that any “imitation meat food product, beef, or beef product” both be labeled with the word “imitation” immediately before or after the name of the food in uniform size and prominence and include a “statement that clearly indicates the product is not derived from or does not contain meat.”

Vermont Proposes Meat Labeling Law

Vermont Senate Bill 206 would deem any meat or meat food product misbranded if the product was not “derived from or harvested from a carcass of cattle, bison, sheep, swine, domestic rabbits, or goats or from a poultry carcass.” The bill also prohibits selling or distributing any product labeled as meat, a meat product, poultry, or a poultry product unless that product contains “the part of the muscle of any cattle, bison, sheep, swine, goats, horses, mules, or other equines that is skeletal or that is found in the tongue, in the diaphragm, in the heart, or in the esophagus, with or without the accompanying and overlying fat, and the portions of bone, skin, sinew, nerve, blood vessels that normally accompany the muscle tissue and that does not include the muscle found in the lips, snout, or ears” or the carcass of “any domesticated bird.” Conviction for violations of this law could result in two years of imprisonment, a $10,000 fine, or both, and it would leave the offender open to civil liability of $10,000 for each product in violation of the law.

Vermont Proposes Milk Labeling Law

Vermont Senate Bill 207 proposes to criminalize selling or distributing a food product labeled as “milk” or as a “dairy product” that is not or is not derived from “the pure lacteal secretion” of a cow or other livestock, unless that product conforms to a standard of identity adopted by the Food and Drug Administration. An offense would be punishable by two years of imprisonment, a $10,000 fine, or both, and it would leave the offender open to civil liability of $10,000 for each product in violation of the law.

Court Dismisses Suit Challenging Tyson “Prime” Pork Claims

A federal judge in Florida has dismissed a lawsuit brought by consumers challenging Tyson’s use of the term “prime” to describe its pork products. The buyers argued that the labeling was false and misleading because the United States Department of Agriculture does not grade pork products as “prime,” the judge concluded that a reasonable consumer would not be misled by the use of the word.

Maryland Introduces Meat Labeling Bill

Maryland Senate Bill 188 proposes to declare a food that contains animal tissue cultivated outside the animal from which the culture is derived, is made from plants, or is made from insects to be misbranded if it is labeled as “meat” or a “meat product.”

Beef Trade Group Requests that FSIS Restrict USA Origin Labeling to Slaughtered Meat

The U.S. Cattlemen’s Association has submitted a petition to the Food Safety Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, requesting that the agency limit the use of terms that suggest a United States origin of product to products that are made “from cattle that have been born, raised, and harvested in the United States.” The agency acknowledged receipt of the petition and has yet to reply.

Texas Bill Would Restrict Labeling of Cellular Agriculture

Texas House Bill 316 would ban labeling or advertising any products that are plant-based or produced by cellular agriculture as “meat,” “beef,” “chicken,” “pork,” or other common variations.

Plant-Based Meat Labeling Rules

An article by Shareefah Taylor in the University of Massachusetts Law Review examines the contradictions between state and federal regulations for plant-based meat alternatives.

Upton’s and PBFA to Appeal Denial of Preliminary Injunction for Oklahoma Law

Upton’s Naturals Co. and the Plant Based Foods Association have said that they will appeal to the Tenth Circuit an order by a federal judge refusing to grant a preliminary injunction to block the enforcement of an Oklahoma law that bars plant-based foods being labeled with terms often used to refer to meat products, such as “burger.”

Upton’s and PBFA Challenge Oklahoma Labeling Law

Upton’s Naturals and the Plant Based Foods Association have filed suit against the state of Oklahoma, bringing a First Amendment challenge to the state’s law that requires disclaimers on plant-based products that use a term normally associated with conventional meat.