Iowa Gov. Signs Fake Meat Bills

Reynolds Signs Bills on Fake Meat Labeling and Nutrition Programs Use in Iowa

Jennifer Carrico
By  Jennifer Carrico , Senior Livestock Editor
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, center, visited the Pat Blomme farm near Ladora to sign two bills helping the livestock industry (DTN/Progressive Farmer photo by Jennifer Carrico)

LADORA, Iowa (DTN) -- Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed into law the Meat Integrity Bill at the Pat Blomme farm here on Wednesday. The bill protects against the misbranding of fake meat products and keeps experimental, lab-grown protein out of supplemental nutrition programs and schools.

"This bill will help prohibit companies from misleading consumers into buying products they don't want," said Reynolds. "The legislation is about transparency for consumers to know what they are getting. It's about the commonsense idea that a product that's labeled chicken, beef, pork, should actually come from an animal."

Sen. Dawn Driscoll, of Williamsburg led the charge for the bill. She said it took some time to get the right wording for the bill. "After hearing from constituents who were concerned about the integrity of where their meat is coming from. So, then I went to the grocery store and started reading labels and realized we did need to do something," she said. Iowa is the first in the nation to pass a bill like this, and seven other states have contacted them about writing similar bills.

Iowa cattleman Dan Delaney said the Meat Integrity Bill means livestock producers will be relevant in the future. "It means we won't have others trying to sell a product in the state labeled as beef, pork, or chicken if it doesn't come from that animal. This means a lot to the entire livestock industry."

Delaney said consumers will know what they are getting when they read the label in the state of Iowa. They will know if it's plant-based, made from bugs or comes out of a lab or if it's meat from an animal. For livestock consumers, it's reserving the wordage that describes the products from their animals. "We found out on the dairy side what happens when they take wording from their industry," he added, a reference to manufacturers of plant-based milk alternatives using the label "milk" on their products.

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Jennifer Carrico