Montana bill would distinguish ‘real’ from lab-grown meat


By Holly K. Michels, Lee Newspapers of Montana

via The News Tribune (WA) - February 08, 2019




A state lawmaker wants to make sure meat products produced from a cultured cell can't be labeled the same as steaks, burger and other items that come from livestock and poultry.


Several national companies are producing lab-grown meat, which is made from the cultured stem cells of animals. Industry backers, including meat giants such as Tyson and Cargill as well as Bill Gates and Richard Branson, say the process is an ethical way to produce meat that also has fewer environmental effects than traditional meat production.


Rep. Alan Redfield, a Republican from Livingston, said he wants to make sure Montana consumers know what they're buying and where it came from. His Real Meat Act doesn't ban the sale of cell-cultured products, but does require that anything labeled "meat" must be "derived from the edible flesh of livestock or a livestock product."


"Picture this: cows grazing on a mountain meadow," Redfield said. " ... Or picture this burger or whatever you may call it coming from a warehouse full of petri dishes."


The bill does not focus on vegetarian meat alternatives, things like Gardenburger veggie burgers or Beyond Meat plant-based meat substitutes, Redfield said.


Several other states, including Wyoming, Missouri, Indiana, Nebraska, Virginia and Tennessee, have or are trying to pass bills similar to Redfield's. Missouri was first to do, and is now facing a lawsuit claiming its law is unconstitutional because it violates First Amendment rights to free speech.


Several people spoke in support of Redfield's bill...





Bill Brings Country-of-Origin Labeling Back to Table in Montana Senate


By Jennifer Shike, Farm Journal's Pork, Editor

via AgWeb - February 8, 2019


A new bill for country-of-origin-labeling on beef and pork products at retail stores in Montana, Senate Bill 206, was introduced on Monday in the Montana legislature.


Retailers would be required to display a placard at meat counters designating meat that falls within these three categories: 1) meat that is born, raised and processed in the USA, 2) meat that is processed outside of the USA, and 3) meat that is only processed in the USA.


The current federal COOL law allows beef and pork imported from other countries to be labeled as “Product of USA” as long as the meat is processed or packed in the U.S.


Placarding at the retail level, as required by SB 206, is designed to improve transparency for consumers...