New Iowa Law Punishes Passing Off Plant/Insect Products as ‘Meat’

Craig Bannister | May 20, 2024

A new Iowa law hits food manufacturers with a fine of up to $10,000 for trying to trick customers into buying their (plant/insect-based) fake meat.

Signed by Republican Governor Kim Reynolds, the new law, referred to as the “meat integrity act, requires lab-grown and plant-based meat and egg alternatives to have clear, specific labels - such as “fake” - the publication National Hog Farmer explains:

“Starting July 1, any lab-grown, or plant/insect-based protein will need to include a qualifying term such as ‘meatless,’ ‘fake,’ or ‘imitation’ to be sold in the state of Iowa. This week Gov. Kim Reynolds signed SF 2391 into law that prohibits the misbranding of certain food products, and provides penalties.”

“This legislation prohibits companies from exploiting the trust consumers have with our livestock producers and misleading consumers into buying products they don’t want,” Gov. Reynolds said in a statement:

“This is about transparency. It’s about the common-sense idea that a product labeled chicken, beef, or pork, should actually come from an animal.”

The law affects popular fake meat brands like Impossible Burger and Beyond Burgers.

The fake meat industry may be getting desperate to unload their products, as plant-based meat and seafood sales declined for the second year in a row in 2023 and the percent of U.S. households purchasing their offerings fell from 19% to 15%.