Meat, Dairy Push Back Against Analogues

By Pan Demetrakakes, Senior Editor

Jun 19, 2019

Louisiana has become the latest state to forbid the use of “meat” to describe products not derived directly from animals.

The legislation signed earlier this month by governor Bel Edwards explicitly prohibits “synthetic product derived from a plant, insect, or other source” or “cell-cultured food product grown in a laboratory from animal cells” from using the word “meat” on packaging or in advertising. The law, which goes into effect on Oct. 1, 2020, provides penalties of $500 a day per violation.

Last summer, Missouri became the first state to pass such a law. Similar laws have been passed in Mississippi and South Dakota, and are under consideration in up to 25 states, according to Veg News. The Missouri law is being challenged in court by the ACLU and animal-rights groups.

Meanwhile, the dairy industry, and dairy-heavy states like Wisconsin, are stepping up the battle against plant-based substitutes for cheese, butter and other dairy foods.

In mid-April, Wisconsin agriculture officials declared that retailers had to remove from their shelves any products labeled as “butter” that were derived from anything other than milk. The action was prompted by competitors’ complaints about “vegan butter” from Myoko’s Kitchen, a California-based processor of plant-based butter and cheese.

Myoko’s Kitchen products were removed from stores in the Whole Foods and Festival Foods supermarket chains. Fortune reports that the situation was resolved when company owner Miyoko Schinner offered to affix stickers reading “vegetable spread” to packages headed to Wisconsin.