A bill that would prohibit companies from marketing cell-cultured foods or plant-based protein products as “meat” has passed through the Missouri legislature and awaits the signature of the governor to become law.
The omnibus bill, sponsored by Sen. Brian Munzlinger, was approved on May 24 by a 125-22 vote. The bill states that if a product is not derived from “harvested production livestock or poultry.”
The most recent version of the bill, SB 627, follows two identical bills in the state’s House and Senate. HB 2607, proposed by Rep. Jeff Knight, and SB 977, proposed by Sen. Sandy Crawford, read: “Currently, no person advertising, offering for sale, or selling a carcass shall engage in any misleading or deceptive practice, including misrepresenting the cut, grade, brand or trade name, or weight or measure of any product. This act also prohibits misrepresenting a product as meat that is not derived from harvested production livestock or poultry.”
Munzlinger, Knight and Crawford are all Republicans, but the bill has had support from members of both political parties.
However, one Democratic House member, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, called the bill “disrespectful of consumers” and told proponents of the bill that they were “just trying to protect your marketing money.”
The bill has had the support of the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, whose executive vice president, Mike Deering, expects to see similar legislation being drafted in other states.
“This isn’t a Missouri issue. This is about protecting the integrity of the products that farm and ranch families throughout the country work hard to raise each and every day,” said Deering. “I never imagined we would be fighting over what is and isn’t meat. It seems silly. However, this is very real and I cannot stress enough the importance of this issue. We are beyond pleased to see this priority legislation cross the finish line.”