Today, U.S. House of Representatives members Anthony Brindisi (D-NY) and Roger Marshall (R-KS) introduced the Real Marketing Edible Artificials Truthfully (MEAT) Act of 2019 to combat the rise of misleading labels on alternative protein products.
The Real MEAT Act will codify the definition of beef for labeling purposes, reinforce existing mis-branding provisions to eliminate consumer confusion and enhance enforcement measures available to the USDA if the FDA fails to take appropriate action.
Most importantly, the text of the bill states that “any imitation meat food product, beef, or beef product shall be deemed to be mis-branded unless its label bears…the word ‘imitation’ immediately before or after the name of the food and a statement that clearly indicates the product is not derived from or does not contain meat.”
United States Cattlemen’s Association Director of Policy and Outreach Lia Biondo said, “USCA members have played a critical role in the effort to ensure Truth in Labeling, not only on beef products Born, Raised and Harvested in the U.S.A., but also on alternative protein products. The Real MEAT Act satisfies part of USCA’s ask to USDA Food Saftey and Inspection Service in its 2018 petition for rulemaking by defining ‘beef’ as a product that derives exclusively from the flesh of a bovine animal. USCA will be urging co-sponsors in the House and bill introduction in the Senate.”
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association also applauded the bill with NCBA President Jennifer Houston saying “A growing number of fake meat products are clearly trying to mislead consumers about what they’re trying to get them to buy. Consumers need to be protected from deceptive marketing practices, and cattle producers need to be able to compete on a fair, level playing field. We want to thank Congressmen Brindisi and Marshall for leading the way on this very important issue.”
USCA/NCBA – 2019