Andrew Bailey
Missouri Attorney General
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Attorney General Bailey Successfully Defends State Law Protecting Missouri Meat

Home 9 Press Release 9 Attorney General Bailey Successfully Defends State Law Protecting Missouri Meat

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Today, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey announced that his office successfully defended a state law protecting the integrity of advertising surrounding meat products.

“Ensuring that food sold within the State of Missouri is marketed correctly is of vital importance to both consumers and the farmers and ranchers that produce that food,” said Attorney General Bailey. “I will continue to fight to defend the integrity of Missouri’s marketplace.”

“When our association led this legislation nearly six years ago, we were the first state in the country to require labeling with integrity. The legislation in no way prohibited the sale or consumption of these imitation products, but it did require truthful and accurate labeling. Misleading consumers was unacceptable then and it is clear with today’s decision that it’s unacceptable now. We are truly grateful for the work of Attorney General Andrew Bailey and his team,” said Missouri Cattleman’s Association President Chuck Miller.

The General Assembly passed the statute in 2018 with the intent to prohibit the use of advertising that falsely labels plant-based or lab-grown products as conventional meat or misleads consumers about the product. The statute requires producers of plant-based or lab-grown meat to disclose that they are plant-based or lab-grown so as not to mislead consumers. The statute only prohibits misrepresenting a product as “any edible portion of livestock, poultry, or captive cervid carcass” that is not derived from harvested production livestock or poultry.

Siding with Attorney General Bailey, the Court noted that the General Assembly enacted the law “to reduce consumer confusion and ensure that consumers know what type of product they are purchasing.” The Court reasoned that “simply because lab created or cultivated meat producers may be impacted by the Missouri Statute, but producers of harvested production livestock or poultry are not impacted, does not show that the Missouri Statue had a discriminatory purpose or make the Statute unconstitutional.”

The Department of Agriculture worked closely with the Attorney General’s Office on this case.

The Court’s Order can be read here.