Texas House Approves Bill Banning Plant-Based Foods from Using ‘Meat’ on Labels

In this June 26, 2019, file photo, a package of meatless burgers by Beyond Meat are seen in Orlando, Fla. Beyond Meat reports financial earns Monday, July 29. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)
AP Photo/John Raoux, File

Plant-based and additional meatless products are accused of misleading buyers under a bill the Texas House approved Monday.

“Texas is the latest state to debate measures that would prohibit foods that don’t contain animal products from using words like ‘meat’ or ‘beef’ in their name,” the Dallas Morning News reported.

The bill was approved following a debate but needs one additional vote in the House to move on to the Texas Senate.

According to Rep. Brad Buckley, his bill would help protect consumers, including vegetarians and vegans, from purchasing a product by mistake.

“This is for those who choose to eat meat, but it’s also for those who choose to not eat meat,” explained Buckley, a Killeen Republican who helps manage a small cattle operation.

The News article continued:

House Bill 316 would prohibit products derived from insects, plants or cell cultures — which come from in vitro animal cells harvested in the lab and not slaughtered animals — from using the terms “meat,” “pork,” “poultry product” and “beef” in their names. Using these words could result in a company being accused of misleading consumers. The bill would not bar these products from using broader terms, like “burger.”

However, Impossible Foods, a popular brand in the plant-based industry, claimed there was no “confusion” when it came to customers choosing meat or meatless products, bigcountryhomepage.com reported.

“Impossible Foods stands for truth and transparency,” a brand spokesperson said in a statement.

“That’s why our products are clearly labeled ‘made from plants.’ There is no evidence of consumer confusion. In fact, our extraordinary sales growth is due precisely to the fact that consumers are, in record levels, seeking out and buying foods without any animal ingredients,” the spokesperson added.

Leaders in the livestock industry, including the Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, Texas Poultry Federation, and Texas Pork Producers Association, voiced support for the bill, the News article stated.

“Our goal here today with this bill is to have clear and accurate labeling so the consumer has no doubt what they’re purchasing,” Buckley said in response to those with concerns about the legislation. “The most frequent call I’ve gotten is from vegetarians that are for this bill.”


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