Tofurkey Company Suing Louisiana Over ‘Meat Terminology’
Vegetarian food maker Tofurkey has had enough of Louisana's so-called "meat terminology." The meatless manufacturer has joined in a federal lawsuit with the Good Food Institute and the Animal Legal Defense Fund over the ban on terms like "burger" and "sausage" when used to describe non-slaughtered meat products.
This lawsuit (just like the ones in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Missouri) aim to change the labeling laws that prohibit plant-based food products from using these terms we associated with the classic (meaty) versions we've grown up with. Last year, the law that outlines who can and can't sell a "burger" (for example) was signed into Louisiana law by Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards. That put in place a $500 per product, per day fine to be levied against any manufacturer that broke this rule.
According to Food Dive, the law was put in place to end consumer confusion on the terms themselves and to protect Louisiana's agriculture. A similar concern is being raised by rice growers in the region who fear "riced" vegetables could confuse customers at the grocery store - ultimately causing sales to drop.
This lawsuit (or one of the others being held in a Federal court) may well set the national precedent for the labeling of non-traditional "meat " products that either come from a plant or grown in a lab.