Missouri is the first state to take steps to prevent misrepresentation of products as meat that are not derived from livestock or poultry. The Missouri Department of Agriculture would like to provide clarification on how these changes will be implemented.
Missouri first enacted the Meat Advertising Law in 1985 with the intention of promoting truthful and accurate advertising. Since that year, our state has provided specific requirements on meat advertising through the Missouri Meat Advertising Law. On Aug. 28, 2018, Missouri made effective new provisions, which are intended to prevent the misrepresentation of a product as meat if it was not derived from livestock or poultry.
Our goal at the Missouri Department of Agriculture is to promote transparency for consumers while balancing that with common sense to minimize market disruptions for existing products.
As with any piece of new legislation, it is important to our team that we implement these changes in a way that is both transparent to citizens and clear to the regulated business community. We have completed our thoughtful review of current state and federal standards, evaluated existing products in the marketplace, and visited with stakeholders.
The Missouri Department of Agriculture is providing the following guidance to our Meat and Poultry Inspection Program to implement the law.
Products must include a prominent statement on the front of the package, immediately before or immediately after the product name, that the product is “plant-based,” “veggie,” “lab-grown,” “lab-created” or a comparable qualifier; and
Products must include a prominent statement on the package that the product is “made from plants,” “grown in a lab,” or a comparable disclosure.
No enforcement referrals will be made until Jan. 1, 2019.
The Missouri Department of Agriculture’s Meat and Poultry Inspection Program will phase in our new guidelines over the next four months to give companies time to update product labels and bring packages into compliance. Accordingly, we will not make any referrals of violations to the Attorney General or county prosecutors until Jan. 1, 2019. Our team will make any necessary changes to this guidance based on future action by the Missouri General Assembly, Congress, federal agencies or any court.
To view a full list of the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s guidelines related to these provisions, please visit Agriculture.Mo.Gov.