toffee It’s one of the most well-known foods, say, the meatless entree that your cousin’s vegetarian boyfriend insists on at the Thanksgiving table, which may upset your cousin’s meat-eating father – the one who killed, gutted, scalded, The plucked, marinated, seasoned father, stuffed and roasted on the table with real turkey.
One thing you don’t know about Tofurky and similar meat substitutes? kick ass. But that may be changing.
Last month, a federal court ruled that an Arkansas law barring manufacturers of meat substitutes such as Tofurky from using commonly understood terms to describe their products was unconstitutional.
“The law prohibits the labelling of any food product as ‘meat,’ unless the food comes from livestock, and prohibits the use of terms such as ‘veggie sausage’ and ‘veggie burger’ on food labels in Arkansas,” Northwest Arkansas Democratic Gazette report after the court ruling. The same court awarded Tofurky in 2019 ban The state was blocked from enforcing the law shortly after the law went into effect and a lawsuit was filed.
Arkansas Law, U.S. District Judge Christine Baker explain In her ruling, Tofurky was unconstitutionally prohibited from “communicating[ing] Providing consumers with meaningful, useful information about the products they’re buying, and Tofurky’s repeated indications that the foods contained in these packages do not contain animal-based meat, removes consumer confusion. “
Arkansas suit is one of them archive Opposed by Tofurky and others (including other vegan food producers and the ACLU, the Quality Food Institute, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the Plant-Based Foods Association, and the Justice Institute) against several that have passed laws similar to those in Arkansas State.
Last year, another litigation– this by Upton’s Nature–Forcing Mississippi’s agriculture department to adopt rules similar to those in Arkansas at the behest of the state’s powerful beef lobby, withdrawing them and revising them.
“Under the new rules, which go into effect today, plant-based foods will not be considered to be labeled as ‘meat’ or ‘meat-based’ if they are also labelled as ‘meat-free’.” “Meat-Free,” “Plant-Based based,” “vegetarian,” “vegan,” or using any other similar term,” the Plant-Based Foods Association is also a plaintiff in this case, report last year.
Why the sudden clamor for rules against words to describe meat substitutes? Proponents of such laws often claim they want to help consumers avoid confusion. But that argument is all hats, no cows.such laws sow confusion rather than lighten it up. Research and common sense suggest that consumers aren’t fooled by terms like “veggie burger.”To make matters worse, language bans are widespread prohibit accurate and honest labels, even If—as a federal court in Arkansas found, Tofurky’s label was—“the product [in question] The label also states that it is 100% vegan, plant-based or meat-free,” Bloomberg News report in 2019.
Ultimately, the underpinnings of such laws can be linked to simple and pure protectionism. In fact, historically, protectionist impulses have been strong among powerful producers of animal products, including meat and dairy.For example, as I discuss in the book Bite the hand that feeds us: Fewer, smarter laws will make our food system more sustainable Elsewhere, for generations, rent-seeking dairy interests have relied on lawmakers to force competitors to change the names and even the appearance of their food products.In Wisconsin, the state has long forced margarine makers to compete with dairy state butter makers paint their products pink. In New York, the state forces non-dairy creamer manufacturers to label these foods as “Melaleuca“—whatever the hell it was.
But it’s worth noting that this protectionism isn’t entirely limited to meat industry-led attacks on vegan competitors.As I explained in 2019 PillarArkansas has been trying to protect its dominant rice industry from competition from rice cauliflower manufacturers (I called the law “vegetable-to-vegetable crime” at the time).
One of the most important facts to remember about these laws is that they seek to undermine the First Amendment in favor of the sale of certain elements of the food industry. This is both unconstitutional and unwise. Such laws are not in the interests of consumers. After all, neither your imaginary cousin’s boyfriend nor your uncle is in the slightest confused by the difference between a Tofurky and a turkey. In fact, it was these differences that prompted them to choose their respective favorite foods in the first place.