Missouri Cattlemen’s Association continues to fight fake meat

The Missouri Cattlemen’s Association is on a mission to stop what they are calling fake meat from fooling consumers in the state and hurting farm and ranch families. The association is aggressively pushing legislation that prohibits misrepresenting a product as meat that is not derived from harvested production livestock.

“The legislation simply prohibits misrepresenting a product as meat that is not derived from harvested production livestock or poultry. That’s the entire bill. It ensures the integrity of the meat supply here in the state,” said MCA Executive Vice President Mike Deering.

Not everyone agrees. The association has recently met opposition from Redwood City, California-based Impossible Foods. According to the Missouri Ethics Commission, the company recently hired three Missouri lobbyists from the firm, Catalyst Group, presumably to defeat legislation sponsored by Sen. Sandy Crawford, R-28, and Rep. Jeff Knight, R-129. This company produces a plant-based product imitating hamburgers. Deering believes the company has no problems misrepresenting their products as meat.

“This association is not in any way whatsoever opposed to plant-based proteins or other safe food technologies,” said Deering. “We are opposed to deceiving consumers and misrepresenting a product as something it’s not.”

According to the company’s website, their mission is to “make delicious meats that are good for people and the planet.” Their website goes further to say: “The world loves meat. But relying on cows to make meat is land-hungry, water-thirsty and pollution-heavy.”

“Not only does this California company have no problem calling this product meat, which is ludicrous, it also makes no secret about its anti-livestock production stance by spouting myths about this industry,” said Deering. “Attacking Missouri’s farm and ranch families is bad enough, but deceiving consumers is what this legislation will stop.”

MCA President Greg Buckman said Missouri farm and ranch families care for their livestock and invest a lot of time and money in ensuring the consumer has a safe, nutritious and affordable product.

“Lab grown, imitation food products or even plant-based proteins should not use nomenclature that confuses the consumer and misrepresents their products as something that it’s clearly not,” said Buckman.

Missouri would be the first state to address the issue with legislation.