Arkansas ‘Don’t Say Meat’ Law Ruled Unconstitutional

Oct. 12, 2022
Tofurky has been successfully challenging such laws around the country.

In the latest defeat for “don’t call it meat” laws, a federal judge has ruled that an Arkansas law regulating the marketing of meat analogue products is unconstitutional.

The 2019 law forbade sellers of plant-based meat substitutes from using terms like “hot dog,” “sausage” or “burger” in their marketing or labeling. The law was never enforced because it was the immediate target of a lawsuit from Tofurky, a processor of analogue meats, as well as the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups.

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker ruled that Tofurky had been clear about the makeup of its products. "The State has not come forward with any evidence of broad marketplace confusion around plant-based meat alternatives to bolster its claim,” she wrote.

Similar laws have been found unconstitutional in Louisiana and California, and are the subject of ongoing lawsuits in Missouri and Oklahoma.

About the Author

Pan Demetrakakes | Senior Editor

Pan has written about the food and beverage industry for more than 25 years. His areas of coverage have included formulations, processing, packaging, marketing and retailing. Pan worked for Food Processing Magazine for six years in the 1990s, where he was operations editor (his current role), touring dozens of food plants of every description. He has also worked for Packaging and Food & Beverage Packaging magazines, the latter as chief editor, during which he won three ASBPE awards. He is a graduate of Stanford University with a BA in communications.

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