The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved legislation Tuesday prohibiting protein grown in laboratories from being labeled as “meat.”
HB 518 by Rep. Danny Crawford, R-Athens, states “a food product that contains cultured animal tissue produced from animal cell cultures outside of the organism from which it is derived may not be labeled as meat or a meat food product.” It passed the House by a 97-2 vote.
Alabama Farmers Federation Beef Division Director Brady Ragland said the legislation would protect consumers from misleading marketing.
“It is important that consumers can distinguish real meat from laboratory-grown products when making their purchasing decisions,” said Ragland, who also directs the Federation’s Equine, Hay & Forage and Meat Goat & Sheep divisions. “This bill prevents cell-cultured products from being labeled as ‘meat,’ which should provide more clarity to consumers while helping to maintain the real meat brand that producers have worked so hard to create.”
Earlier this year, delegates of the American Farm Bureau Federation approved policy opposing the use of traditional meat terms to describe cell-based protein and plant-based meat alternatives.
HB 518 has been referred to the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee.