Tofurky is suing Louisiana over a state law that prohibits plant-based meat from using the word “meat.” The lawsuit claims it is a violation of the First Amendment.
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Last year, Louisiana signed into state law the “Truth in Labeling of Food Products,” which can fine plant-based companies up to $500 per product per day that uses terms like burger, sausage, chicken, beef or other words associated with meat from an animal.
The law also bans vegetable products from using the term “rice” or “riced,” and meat grown from animal cells as being list as “meat.”
The law went into effect October 1.
Though the law claims it is intended to keep consumers informed about the products they purchase and cite a concern of consumer confusion by using meat-terms to refer to non-meat products, Tofurky argues shoppers know the difference between fake and real meat.
“It’s absurd that Louisiana’s elected officials are spending their time on the imaginary crisis of people confusing veggie burgers for beef burgers,” Jessica Almy, the Good Food Institute's director of policy, said in a release. “Consumers deserve better than lawmakers passing condescending laws that try to dictate what Louisianans buy. Consumers are no more likely to believe that ‘veggie burgers’ contain cow meat than Girl Scout cookies contain Girl Scouts.”
The law has reportedly been created to protect Louisiana agriculture producers.
The Good Food Institute and Animal Legal Defense Fund jointly filed the lawsuit on Tofurky’s behalf.
In July 2019, Tofurky had sued Arkansas over a law that would prohibit plant-based products from using meat terms. The law was halted by the court, declaring it was unconstitutional.
Dairy and meat farmers had been struggling with falling prices and closed meat processing plants due to the coronavirus pandemic, as Fox Business previously reported.