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· Cattle Ranchers Are Trying to Get the Word 'Meat' Taken Off the Labels of Meat Substitutes
… “The word meat, to me, should mean a product from a live animal,” said Jim Dinklage, a rancher and the president of the Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska, who has testified in support of meat-labeling legislation in his state… early indications are that the cattlemen may be facing a tough fight…
· NCBA Launches Fake Meat Campaign
… it’s positive several states are moving forward with their own truth in labeling legislation because that will bring attention to the issue and give consumers more transparency on meat that doesn’t come from animals...
Cattle Ranchers Are Trying to Get the Word 'Meat' Taken Off the Labels of Meat Substitutes
Tom McKay, GIZMODO
Feb 10, 2019
The rise of Impossible Foods and its signature Impossible Burger, the plant-based burger brand that is all the rage lately, and their faux-meat ilk has apparently rattled some in the cattle business. The New York Times reported this weekend on a spate of state laws aiming to outlaw the use of the word “meat” on labels to describe products made from meat alternatives, some of which were bogged down by opposition and one of which passed.
According to the Times report, some ranchers and farmers (as well as lobbyists paid by their industry) are worried that plant-based meat substitutes—an industry that is growing by double digits each year and is rapidly getting better at producing tastier products—will threaten their bottom line. They seem particularly worried about losing control of labeling, like the dairy industry failed to anticipate the rise of almond and soy milk, as well as the potential impact of hypothetical future cheap, lab-grown meat on their businesses. That’s despite lab-grown meat still not being out on the general market, and almost certainly remaining quite expensive for the foreseeable future.
In the past few weeks, the Times wrote, legislators in more than a dozen states have proposed laws that ban using the term meat to label anything that didn’t come from a live animal, using the justification that it misleads consumers:
“The word meat, to me, should mean a product from a live animal,” said Jim Dinklage, a rancher and the president of the Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska, who has testified in support of meat-labeling legislation in his state.
...“Almonds don’t produce milk,” said Bill Pigott, a Republican state representative in Mississippi who wrote the legislation there. He owns a farm that has produced both dairy and beef. But his worries have gone beyond almond and soy liquid’s being labeled milk.
“The fake, lab-produced meat is a little bit more of a science fiction-type deal that concerns me more,” Mr. Pigott said.
He introduced his bill in January after the local association of cattle ranchers contacted him. It passed in the state’s House and is waiting for debate in the State Senate.
However, early indications are that the cattlemen may be facing a tough fight. A bill in Virginia was shot down after major backlash from the National Grocers Association, the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Plant Based Foods Association, the Times wrote. According to Virginia Mercury, despite being backed by the “Virginia Cattlemen’s Association, the Farm Bureau, and pretty much every other farm-group in the state,” the legislation was unanimously voted down in committee.
Another bill in Washington that would outlaw the sale of lab-grown meat, as well as restrict state funds “from being used for research in the area,” has not come to a vote, the Times wrote...
more, including links
NCBA Launches Fake Meat Campaign
Radio 570 WNAX (SD)
Feb 11, 2019
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association is launching a new public campaign focused on “fake meat”. NCBA President Jennifer Houston says the Fake Meat Facts campaign will bring to light many of the unknowns that the federal government must clarify before finalizing the regulatory framework for lab grown and cell cultured products.
She says there are several questions that must be answered before an effective regulatory process can go forward.
Houston says it’s positive several states are moving forward with their own truth in labeling legislation because that will bring attention to the issue and give consumers more transparency on meat that doesn’t come from animals...
more, including audio [1:12 min.]