Missouri's Meat Labeling Law Draws Backlash from Alternative Meat ProponentsFri, 09 Aug 2019 14:16:56 CDT
Missouri was the first state in the country to pass a law that essentially says, if you want to call a product ‘beef’ it has to come from a four-legged bovine animal. Mike Deering, executive vice president of the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association spoke recently with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays about that law and the challenges the association is facing from the opponents of that legislation. According to Deering, Missouri in fact already had a meat advertising law on the books since the 1980s.
“So, what we did - our language was basically one sentence. We just expanded that law to make sure there was marketing with integrity when you come up with these alternative food products,” Deering said. “This is not about competition. We welcome the competition. We welcome food choice for consumers. We don’t want to push anybody out, but what we want to make sure of is that we are telling consumers the truth… so that when consumers go to the store they can buy these products with confidence.”
Specifically, the legislation would require alternative meat products to clearly denote the fact that it is not conventionally produced meat on the front of the product’s packaging. This has been perceived by the legislation’s opponents as a violation of free speech. Deering explained that the MCA has attempted to negotiate with the plaintiffs but says those talks have failed and led to litigation in court - though he remains confident that the law will be upheld.
“Yeah we got sued very quickly by Tofurkey, ACLU and some other groups. But, I don’t believe it’s free speech to lie to people,” Deering said. “So, our Attorney General’s office is working hard to make sure they defend that language and I feel very confident we’re going to come out with a victory on this.”
Listen to Deering’s full conversation with Hays on today’s Beef Buzz, to learn more about this case in opposition to Missouri’s new meat labeling law.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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