Louisiana would stop food producers from putting labels like “cauliflower rice” or “tofu meat” on their products, under a bill backed unanimously by state senators.
The state’s upper chamber voted 34-0 on Monday for a bill aimed at clarifying labels on meat, rice and sugar substitutes. Sen. Francis Thompson (D-Delhi), the legislation’s sponsor, says the restrictions would prevent manufacturers from misleading customers.
No longer would lab-grown meat products or meat substitutes be able to have the word “meat” on its labels; only plant-based simple sugar or sucrose products would be able to have “sugar” on its packaging. Violators would face fines.
The bill has support from Louisiana’s cattle and rice industry leaders, as well as from state Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain.
Opponents include the Plant Based Foods Association, whose representatives claim the labels are already clear for consumers. The organization has also questioned whether Thompson’s proposal would hold up to First Amendment challenges in court.
The measure now goes to the House for consideration.