In a win for the First Amendment, Mississippi will no longer ban plant-based food companies from labeling their products with terms like 'veggie BURGERS' and 'vegan BACON.'
NICK SIBILLA: ‘In a win for the First Amendment, Mississippi will no longer ban plant-based food companies from labeling their products with terms like “veggie burgers” and “vegan bacon.” On Thursday, the state dropped rules that would have enforced the labeling ban, and instead replaced them with common sense.
Under the new regulations now in effect, a plant-based meat alternative won’t be considered “mislabeled” if it uses an adjective like “meatless,” “plant-based,” or “vegan,” on its labeling. Previously, meatless marketers could risk fines of up to $1,000 “per offense,” even jail time.
Claiming Mississippi’s law violates the First Amendment, the Institute for Justice sued the state in July on behalf of Upton’s Naturals, a Chicago-based vegan food business, and the Plant Based Food Association. Without the lawsuit, plant-based businesses would have faced severe financial consequences. In order to operate legally, Upton’s Naturals would have had to pull out of Mississippi entirely or drastically overhaul its packaging and design.
Not only would the latter be enormously expensive and time-consuming (especially if they’d be used in just one state), the new labels would have created confusion where none existed before… Once a niche limited to vegetarians and vegans, more consumers are exploring plant-based alternatives to meat, whether driven by personal health, animal rights, a lower carbon footprint, or just culinary curiosity…
“We were proud to take up this fight not just for our own company, but for the many plant-based food entrepreneurs providing meat alternatives nationwide,” said Dan Staackmann, the founder and owner of Upton’s Naturals. “Our labels have always made it clear that our foods are 100% vegan. We have a First Amendment right to use common terms like ‘bacon’ and ‘burger’ and we’re prepared to fight for that right in any other state that passes anti-competitive laws being pushed by the meat industry”.’ SOURCE…