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Missouri rules that lab-grown meat is not meat

By Shawn Knight · 40 replies
Aug 29, 2018
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  1. Missouri on Tuesday became the first state in the country to enact a law preventing companies from “misrepresenting a product as meat that is not derived from harvested production livestock or poultry.” Those in violation of the law face up to a $1,000 fine and a year behind bars.

    Non-meat products have been available for years but as Mike Deering, the executive vice president of the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, highlights, the law has come about due to the recent influx of lab-grown meat products.

    The Food and Drug Administration last month declared the meat-free Impossible Burger safe to eat.

    Naturally, there are opposing views to the new restriction. Proponents of the law, like Todd Hays, who runs a hog farm in Monroe City, Missouri, said that once they lose the trust of consumers and they don’t believe what labels tell them, they’re on a slippery slope they don’t want to go down. “Once you lose trust in an industry, it’s extremely hard to gain that back,” Hays said.

    Hays and others are clearly looking to protect their livelihood, an industry that has provided income to their families for decades.

    Others, like Tofurky CEO Jaime Athos, believe the law stifles competition from those who are making plant-based protein products.

    “If we describe something as meaty, is that a problem? If we compare the flavor to bacon, is that a problem? If we’re able to say ‘soy chicken,’ they can imagine how that might fit into the recipes and food they enjoy already,” Athos said.

    Tofurky, along with the Good Food Institute, the Animal Legal Defense Fund and the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri, have sued the state over the new law.

    What are your thoughts on the matter? Should companies that make plant- or lab-grown meat substitutes be allowed to use the word “meat” in their marketing? Will other states follow Missouri’s lead or is this likely to get shot down?

    Permalink to story.

  2. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing - click on the rock below.. Posts: 3,917   +1,156

    Really MEAT-O!!
  3. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,092   +1,543

    "Should companies that make plant- or lab-grown meat substitutes be allowed to use the word “meat” in their marketing?"

    I don't have a problem with them using the word "meat" in their products as long as it's made quite clear it's artificial and not from animals. I think the phrase "meat-like" would be acceptable.
    killmess, erickmendes, orondf and 8 others like this.
  4. Cal Jeffrey

    Cal Jeffrey TS Evangelist Posts: 1,645   +397

    I agree with @TomSEA. As long as they are not being deceptive, I don't see why they can't use the word meat in their marketing. However, I get the feeling that some of these company would indeed like to have the freedom to be deceptive about it. It is certainly something that needs to be watched.
  5. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,516   +1,718

    Isnt this like making a law that states carrots grown in a green house cant be carrots because they were not cultivated in a field?

    It is genetically and at the carbon level identical to meat. Call it lab-grown meat, but to say you cant use the word meat is blatant protectionism, like saying you cant sell "root" beer unless it is made from distilled sassafras roots.
  6. MonsterZero

    MonsterZero TS Evangelist Posts: 546   +297

    That's the problem though, you let them call it "soy chicken" now and down the road they drop the "soy" part and start calling it "Chicken*" then you have to find the asterisk on the package to figure out what it really is. Look at Almond Milk, it's not milk, there's no way to milk and almond because they don't have tits from which to lactate. I say screw that company, you sell Tofu, and fake meat products. Take your vegan non-meat products and GTFO.
  7. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +3,183

    "Proponents of the law, like Todd Hays, who runs a hog farm in Monroe City, Missouri, said that once they lose the trust of consumers and they don’t believe what labels tell them, they’re on a slippery slope they don’t want to go down. “Once you lose trust in an industry, it’s extremely hard to gain that back"

    This guy must have never had walmart "natural unprocessed" meat before. There are plenty of low quality meat products on the market already so this guy isn't preventing anything that hasn't already happened. Americans can already determine the different cuts of meat, we don't need lobby groups telling us now what is and isn't meat based on how it was made, despite it being exactly the same as the regular stuff. They might have a point if it was chemically different to a certain extent but it isn't and from reviews I've seen, it tastes just like regular meat.

    Now for plant based products, those should be labeled differently. I wouldn't ban the use of "meat" on the packaging but it needs to be abundantly clear it's derived from plants.

    Exactly. They are now dictating things based on manufacturing method because they can't find a way to regulate it otherwise as lab grown meat is identical to regular meat.
    killmess and Reehahs like this.
  8. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,618   +2,353

    You show me a tree that grows meat and I'm OK with you calling it meat. Of course if you create such an abomination you've opened the door to plant and animal viruses jumping kingdoms, which means we're all dead anyway.
    Capaill likes this.
  9. indiferenc

    indiferenc TS Enthusiast Posts: 44   +49

    what do you call the liquid inside of a coconut? or the part of it that you eat? I dont recall coconuts having tits or being considered livestock.

    it wont matter soon anyway. the meat and dairy industry are killing the planet and they will all die out soon enough, as people get a hold of more info and find out how destructive they are. go vegan
    dms96960 likes this.
  10. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 2,426   +1,426

    This article doesn't really make it clear whether we're talking about "lab meat" - which is virtually identical to real meat, just made in a lab instead of harvested from animals... or soy meat / tofu / etc.... those are made from plants and while they may taste similar to meat, are completely different and should be labelled so.

    In Canada, where the Dairy Board rules supreme, the right to label something "cheese" or "milk" is stringently protected. I see no real problem with lab meat being labelled "meat" - provided "lab" is also prominently displayed... but certainly not plant-based food...

    Meat, by definition, should come from an animal dammit! If my food didn't have a soul, I don't want it in my belly :)
  11. NoBodyNoOne

    NoBodyNoOne TS Rookie

    Missouri has now made it official. You can't call it "meat" if it's made of muscle cells obtained thanks to the DNA of cows, sheep, pigs, chickens but is not the real corpse of a cow, sheep, pig or chicken actually killed against their will.

    The law says it : Meat is murder. Nothing else.
    dms96960, crocography and Lounds like this.
  12. Axle Grease

    Axle Grease TS Addict Posts: 135   +56

    Regardless of how it is created, meat is muscle tissue, else it is not meat.
  13. drjekelmrhyde

    drjekelmrhyde TS Evangelist Posts: 319   +106

    Cool with me, because people are going to lose their farking mind, when someone make lab grown dog meat.
  14. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,208   +4,877

    There is a difference between tame and wild. Growing products in a lab takes tame to an extreme. And we should be told what we are buying before sale.
  15. Axle Grease

    Axle Grease TS Addict Posts: 135   +56

    Even though the meat is not from a dog, it is still dog meat. I wouldn't touch it, nor any meat synthesized from any animal breed for thousands of years to be human companions, out of respect. So naturally no human meat, even though some of the ancestors on my Maori side had a taste for it. I'd try lab grown turtle meat, dolphin meat, panda meat, wolf meat, cheetah meat, horse meat, kangaroo meat, crocodile meat, armadillo meat, and giraffe meat.
  16. Bubbajim

    Bubbajim TechSpot Staff Posts: 636   +614

    Mate you're just not looking hard enough for the almond's nipples.
    Capaill likes this.
  17. Scorpionking20

    Scorpionking20 TS Booster Posts: 65   +29

    Lot's of meat isn't muscle tissue. Organ meat is some of the most nutritious meat.
  18. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,208   +4,877

    I'd be tempted to say if it is not muscle, it is skin. But what do I know, those could be one in the same. I'm definitely not a biologist.
  19. ctm17

    ctm17 TS Member Posts: 16   +11

    Love it, fake meat, as worthless as tits on an almond... I agree with you, well said.
  20. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,152   +1,411

    This happens in other industries and we can learn from them. There's something called 'Cultured Marble' that sinks etc are made of - it's not real marble, but they wanted to call it 'marble' because it looks and feels like marble. But the real marble companies - the ones selling actual rock from a quary - didn't like this and they sued and got the synthetic folks to call it 'Cultured'

    There's something similar going on with diamonds. They can now make synthetic diamonds that are actually 100% carbon and really IS a diamond.

    To follow with that - they shouldn't call this 'meat' it's not meat. It's plant-derived meat product. But they can't call it that either. They need to think up a new word for it. one that isn't too sciency or people will get scared (like they are of GMOs). I'd vote for 'Vegisteak' or 'Greenburger' etc.

    If it tastes good people will buy it - that's all that will really matter in the end.
  21. Tom01

    Tom01 TS Rookie Posts: 25   +9

    That is not Meat.
  22. havok585

    havok585 TS Addict Posts: 200   +57

    Lmao, are you a real person? maybe a bot...

    Seriously, how can you say such gibberish, animals have wills now ? they can be "murdered" ?? really ?

    geezes oh my, this is golden !
  23. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 827   +438

    Synthetic Meat *
    * No animals were harmed in the making of this product.

    I can see the benefits - fewer animals emitting methane gases into the atmosphere, fewer animals bred purely for slaughter, make farmland available for housing, etc. But there is a real risk of a virus or toxin passing unnoticed (or intentionally) into it, or a sudden health scare wiping out the whole industry, and the health standards and monitoring would need to be very stringent and independent.

    It also won't be long before synthetic (human) meat becomes available - there are lots of discussions about it already.
  24. VBKing

    VBKing TS Enthusiast Posts: 59   +27

    I hope they don't have to go back and edit the Archie Bunker shows so he calls his son-in-law "Hey meat-like-head" or "Soyhead"
    ctm17 likes this.
  25. Scorpionking20

    Scorpionking20 TS Booster Posts: 65   +29

    Sorry man...Eating liver, brain, heart (which is muscle), gizzards, or other organs, is eating meat.

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