Federal Lawmakers Introduce Real Meat Act- Bill Defining “Beef” and Imitations

DTN Ag Policy Editor Chris Clayton reported late last month that, “Some cattlemen groups often don’t agree on much, but they can agree the word ‘beef’ should only come from cattle, and not a plant-based or lab-grown alternative.

“Both the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association praised the introduction of the Real Marketing Edible Artificials Truthfully (MEAT) Act, by Rep. Roger Marshall, R-Kansas, and Rep. Anthony Brindisi, D-N.Y. Marshall stated the bill would ‘codify the definition of beef for labeling purposes‘ and provide enforcement measures for USDA if FDA does not take action against confusing protein claims.

“While ‘beef’ and ‘beef products’ are defined under the Beef Research and Information Act, the legislation that created the beef checkoff, the definition for beef and beef products does not have another federal definition. The Real Meat Act would change the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act will require the word ‘imitation’ for any product that is not derived from or does not contain meat.”

Mr. Clayton noted that, “Several states have passed laws restricting plant-based or lab-grown proteins from using terms such as beef or meat. A federal judge in early October declined to place a preliminary injunction on Missouri’s law, the first passed in the country. The company that makes Tofurkey products is suing the state, along with the Good Foods Institute.”

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