Arkansas passed HB 1407 back in March specifically targeting The Tofurky Company. Called the “Truth in Labeling” bill it sought to limit the definition of “meat” as only being from dismembered animal bodies.
Not surprisingly Tofurky backed by The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), The Good Food Institute (GFI), Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), and ACLU of Arkansas fought against Arkansas law makers by filling a lawsuit against the state and challenging the constitutionality of the new law.
“We are pleased that the court blocked this unconstitutional law from being enforced while our underlying lawsuit proceeds, so that consumers can continue to have access to familiar plant-based products in Arkansas for the foreseeable future,” Tofurky CEO Jaime Athos said. “Plant-based foods are increasingly popular with savvy consumers who understand the health and environmental consequences of their actions and it brings us no small joy that these individuals will be able to set their everyday and holiday tables with the products of their choice. While they do, we will fight the law in court.”
If this absurd law being used to prop up the failing animal ag industry had stayed intact and was enforced Tofurky and other companies would face $1,000 dollar fines for each use of a term the law prohibited.
“This is a victory for free speech, free markets, and consumer choice. Had this law been enforced, Tofurky would have faced a terrible choice: create confusing new labels for Arkansas with absurd language like “veggie tubes” and “veggie discs,” risk violating the law, or stop selling food in Arkansas altogether,” GFI Director of Policy Jessica Almy said. “The court has put a stop to the significant government overreach and Arkansas consumers are now free to have all the choices available to consumers in other states.”
These bills and laws spread through out the United States in 2019 with some actually passing into law. Now on the federal level meat lobbyists are rallying politicians to pass the proposed “The Real Marketing Edible Artificials Truthfully Act” of 2019 into law. It just recently was introduced in the United States Senate and is claiming to keep consumers from “confusion” when purchasing items. The proposal seeks to limit words like “meat” and “beef” as only allowed for animal products.