Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has signed into law a bill that makes it unlawful to label any cultured meat product “as meat or any product from an animal” without distinct identification as “lab-grown,” “lab-created,” or “grown in a lab.” The law also requires similar labeling for plant-based products.
Georgia Governor Signs Bill Restricting Labeling of Alternative Proteins
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.
Texas Considers Bill to Restrict Labeling and Advertisement of the Term “Meat”
Texas Senate Bill 2035 proposes to restrict the use of the terms meat, beef, chicken, and pork on advertising and labeling of food products to food products made out of a “formerly live” animal. The bill would also ban advertisements and labeling of “imitation” meat products that include comparisons of the product’s nutritional value to slaughtered animal products.
Virginia Governor Vetoes Bill Limiting Definition of “Milk”
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam vetoed a bill passed by both the House and Senate that would have prohibited foods to be labeled as “milk” unless that product was “obtained by the complete milking of a healthy hooved mammal.”
New York Milk Labeling Bill Gets Senate Companion
New York Senate Bill 7997 proposes to prohibit the labeling of any product as a “milk product” unless that product contains dairy or is a “product obtained by modifying the chemical or 18 physical characteristics of milk, cream, or whey by using cultures, enzymes, solvents, heat, pressure, cooling, vacuum, ultrafiltration, or other similar processes.” A similar bill, Assembly Bill 8144, was introduced in the New York Assembly last year.
Article Points Out Inconsistencies in Nomenclature Surrounding Cultivated Meat
An article published in Trends in Food Science & Technology argues that clarifying the terms used to refer to cultivated meat (including cellular agriculture, cell-based meat, and clean meat) is essential for clarity in policy debates and to establish customer confidence.
Miyoko’s Sues California Department of Food and Agriculture Over First Amendment Violation
Plant-based dairy company Miyoko’s Kitchen Inc. has filed suit against the California Department of Food and Agriculture, alleging violations of the company’s First Amendment rights when the agency told the company to stop calling its products “butter” and claiming the products are “cruelty and animal free.”
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.”
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.