Companies that make plant-based or cell-cultured proteins no longer will be able to use the word “meat” on the labels of their products in Oklahoma now that a bill limiting use of the term has become law.
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt has signed a bill that prohibits “persons advertising or selling food plans or carcasses from engaging in certain misleading or deceptive practices” on product labels. The Oklahoma legislature last week overwhelmingly passed Senate Bill 392, which defines “meat” as the “edible portion of livestock, poultry, or captive cervid (deer) carcass or part thereof.”
The bill’s sponsors see the provision as a way to protect the state’s ranchers as well as consumers who may not understand the difference between meat from animals and other forms of alternative proteins labeled as “meat” on the packaging when they shop.
Oklahoma is one of several states that have passed or are considering similar legislation covering labeling practices so they clearly differentiate products that are made from animals versus plant-based or cell-cultured proteins. The new law is expected to go into effect 90 days after the Oklahoma legislature adjourns on the last Friday in May.
Alabama is the latest state to introduce similar legislation, with a bill introduced last week in the state house that would prohibit food containing animal tissue that is produced from animal cell cultures from being labeled as meat or a meat food product.