Senate Passes ‘Fair Labels Act’ To Crack Down On Meatless Meat

Des Moines, Iowa — The Iowa Senate has voted to establish fines for food processors that sell products in Iowa with labels suggesting food made with plant or insect-based protein is a meat-based product.

Senator Dawn Driscoll of Washington raises Angus cattle on her family farm near Williamsburg.

That’s a reference to rules on how big the living space for pigs, chickens, and baby calves must be in order for products like veal, eggs, and bacon to be sold in California. If the bill passed by the Iowa Senate becomes law, food processors could be fined as much as 10 thousand dollars for selling something labeled as meat in Iowa when it’s not.

The bill would provide some latitude to marketers, however.

The bill had included a ban on research at the state universities into the production or use of manufactured meat products, but that was removed. An addition to the bill calls for state officials to seek a waiver that would not allow food stamps or benefits for women with infants and young children to be used to buy manufactured meats.

Senator Tony Bisignano, a Democrat from Des Moines, says most Iowans can buy Beyond Meat or Impossible Burgers at the grocery store, but low-income Iowans couldn’t if the bill becomes law.

Despite those objections to a section in the bill, Bisignano and every other senator present voted for the total package. The bill now goes to the House for consideration.


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