North Dakota, South Dakota have new laws that aim to distinguish how animal-based meat and meat substitutes are labeled

In early March, the North Dakota and South Dakota legislatures passed bills that aim to make a clear distinction between how animal-based meat and meat substitutes are labeled for consumers.
North Dakota’s HB 1400 defines “meat” as only edible flesh from an animal raised for human consumption. Cell-cultured “meats” would need to be clearly labeled as “a cell-cultured protein food product.” They also “may not be packaged in the same, or deceptively similar, packaging as a meat food product.” Under South Dakota’s SB 68, a food product is “misbranded” if labeled in such a way “that intentionally misrepresents the product” as meat. Both measures were signed into law in early March; they received overwhelming support in the North Dakota and South Dakota legislatures.

Missouri enacted the nation’s first law on “truthful meat labeling” in 2018. That law was the subject of a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and makers of plant-based meat substitutes. The suit was settled early this year, with details to be announced in March, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported in February. Plaintiffs in the Missouri case claimed the state law was an unconstitutional violation of free speech and the Commerce Clause.

Stateline Midwest: March 20192.35 MB