WASHINGTON – Congressman Roger Marshall, M.D., (R-KS), along with Congressman Anthony Brindisi (D-NY), introduced The Real Marketing Edible Artificials Truthfully (MEAT) Act, to address deceptive labeling practices in alternative protein products Monday. The Real MEAT Act will codify the definition of beef for labeling purposes, reinforce existing misbranding provisions to eliminate consumer confusion, and enhance enforcement measures available to the USDA if the FDA fails to take appropriate action.
“Consumers should be able to rely on the information on food labels they see on the shelves to be truthful and not deceptive,” Rep. Marshall said. “For years now, alternative protein products have confused many consumers with misleading packaging and creative names for products. With this bill, consumers can be sure that the meat products they are buying are indeed real meat.”
“American families have a right to know what’s in their food,” Rep. Brindisi said. “Accurate labeling helps consumers make informed decisions and helps ensure families have access to a safe, abundant, affordable food supply. This bill is about safety and transparency, and will make sure that meat-lovers and vegans alike have the transparency and honest labels that can allow customers to make their own decisions.”
Kansas is home to thousands of hardworking cattlemen and women and it is important that beef producers are protected from false and harmful marketing claims.
“A growing number of fake meat products are clearly trying to mislead consumers about what they’re trying to get them to buy,” Jennifer Houston, NCBA President and Tennessee cattlewoman, said. “Consumers need to be protected from deceptive marketing practices, and cattle producers need to be able to compete on a fair, level playing field. We want to thank Congressmen Brindisi and Marshall for leading the way on this very important issue.”
“We appreciate Congressman Marshall stepping up in defense of KLA members and America’s consumers by introducing this bill aimed at greater labeling accountability for imitation meat products,” Kansas Livestock Association Chief Executive Officer Matt Teagarden said. “This legislation will rein in false labeling and clarify for consumers what is real beef and what is fake.”