Monday, April 30, 2018

Missouri Weighs Label for Plant-Based Meat Alternatives

Posted By on Mon, Apr 30, 2018 at 4:50 PM

The Missouri House approved a bill on Thursday that will require companies that produce plant-based meat alternatives to clearly note that the products do not contain actual meat.

The legislation won the House 107-38 and is now on its way to the Senate. If it is approved, Missouri will be the first state in the country to address the issue, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The proposal for the bill is a part of a pro-agriculture bill that is supported by the Missouri Farm Bureau and Missouri Cattlemen's Association.

The pork producers say the state's livestock industry spends a lot of time and money educating the public about the benefits of eating meat, and this bill would ensure that consumers don't mistake a plant-based meat product for actual meat. (Heaven forbid we inadvertently consume some veggies!) Missouri Cattlemen's Association member Andy McCorkill says the proposal "will ensure the integrity of the meat supply."

Earlier this year, some St. Louis restaurants began offering the Impossible Burger, a soy-based product that promises to be so eerily meat-like, it actually bleeds.

But while modern science is indeed a freaky thing, the whole point of the burgers is to give herbivores a flesh-free experience, not trick them into accidentally ingesting soy. Jessica Almy from the Good Food Institute, a company that provides plant-based alternatives to meat, says that companies that produce vegetarian-based meat-like products are already required by law to not misrepresent their wares and to ensure that labels provide full transparency to the consumers of the product to meet their expectations.

"A phrase like 'plant-based meat' clearly communicates that a food is plant-based and how a food is meant to be prepared and consumed," Almy said in a statement.

Lawmakers have until May 18 to get the legislation onto the governor's desk.

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