Organic Consumers Association

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You Call That Meat? Not So Fast, Cattle Ranchers Say

The cattle ranchers and farm bureaus of America are not going to give up their hold on the word meat without a fight.

In recent weeks, beef and farming industry groups have persuaded legislators in more than a dozen states to introduce laws that would make it illegal to use the word meat to describe burgers and sausages that are created from plant-based ingredients or are grown in labs. Just this week, new meat-labeling bills were introduced in Arizona and Arkansas.

These meat alternatives may look and taste and even bleed like meat, but cattle ranchers want to make sure that the new competition can’t use the meat label.

“The word meat, to me, should mean a product from a live animal,” said Jim Dinklage, a rancher and the president of the Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska, who has testified in support of meat-labeling legislation in his state.

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