REAL MEAT Act introduced in the US Senate
Deb Fischer, senator of Nebraska and a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, introduced the REAL MEAT Act to end deceptive labeling practices for alternative protein products. The bill would clarify the definition of beef for labeling purposes, eliminate consumer confusion resulting from misbranding, and ensure that the federal government can enforce the law.
“Beef is derived from cattle—period. Under USDA, beef undergoes a rigorous inspection and labeling process, but plant-based protein products that mimic beef and are sometimes labeled as beef are overseen by the FDA instead. These products are not held to the same food safety and labeling standards as beef. Americans deserve to know what’s on their dinner plate. The Real MEAT Act will protect consumers from deceptive marketing practices and bring transparency to the grocery store,” said Senator Fischer.
“It’s clear that fake-meat companies are continuing to mislead consumers about the nutritional merits and actual ingredient composition of their products. We commend the efforts of Senator Fischer on introducing this legislation, which would end deceptive labeling of fake meat products and allow cattle producers to compete on a level playing field,” said National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Jennifer Houston.
The NCBA found in a study that 55% of consumers did not understand that “plant-based beef” wasn’t beef at all, but instead an entirely vegan or vegetarian product. This bill would help to clear the confusion by codifying a definition of beef for labeling purposes and allowing the USDA to take action against misbranded products.
The Real MEAT Act would codify the definitions of “beef” and “beef products.” It would further ensure that imitation meat products have the word “imitation” in the same size and prominence immediately before or after the name of the food and a statement indicating that the product does not contain meat.
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