Mississippi Bans Meat-Related Names for Vegetarian Product Labels
|Tuesday, July 9, 2019 | Author: ProCon.org | MORE HEADLINES|
Source: miikkahoo, "Veggie Burger with Zucchini/Feta/Pea Patty," wikimedia.org, June 13, 2018
A new law in Mississippi (SB 2922) bans the use of certain descriptive words traditionally associated with meat products on labels for vegetarian and vegan plant-based products. As of July 1, 2019, words such as "burger" and "hot dog" can only be used if the product is made of animal meat. That means the name "veggie burger" is no longer permitted on labels for plant-based patties. The ban also applies to food made from insects and meats made in a lab from cultured animal cells (as opposed to slaughtered livestock).
Vegan and vegetarian products have come under labeling scrutiny in other places as well. In Canada, Blue Heron Creamery can no longer use the word "cheese" for their plant-based dairy-free products as of Feb. 2019. Words like Cheddar and chèvre are also prohibited. A German court ruled similarly against cheese-substitute manufacturer TofuTown in 2016. In the European Union, "veggie burgers" may soon be called "veggie discs" following the European parliament's agriculture committee approval of a ban on using meat-related terminology on vegetarian food.
Sales of plant-based "meats" increased 42% from 2016 to 2019; the market for these products is worth an estimated $12.1 billion in 2019 and could reach $27.9 billion by 2025. Beyond Meat, a plant-based food manufacturer, almost doubled its net revenue from $32.6 million in 2017 to $87.9 million in 2018. Fast food restaurants such as Burger King and Del Taco now offer plant-based "fake meat" substitutes in some locations.
|Discussion Questions - Things to Think About|
|1. Should plant-based products be called "burger" or other words normally associated with animal products? If no, provide alternative names. Explain your answer.
2. Should the government regulate what plant-based products are called? Explain your answer.
3. Should people become vegetarian? Vegan? Why or why not?
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