NCBA is leading efforts in Washington to make sure that fake meat – both current plant-based products and potential lab-produced products in the future – is properly marketed and regulated. First, we are asking the USDA to work with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to enforce existing labeling laws for plant-based protein products. The FDA has the power to take action against products that use misleading labels to confuse consumers about the true nature of their product. Unfortunately, the FDA has a track record of lax enforcement on food labeling issues. Second, we are asking the USDA to assert regulatory jurisdiction over lab-grown fake meat products. No framework currently exists for regulating these new products, but USDA is the agency best-placed to ensure both fair and accurate labeling and the safety of lab-grown products for consumers. NCBA recently submitted comments outlining our principles on fake meat to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and we will continue to lead the way as Washington decides how to regulate new products that are introduced in the marketplace.
For plant-based products, NCBA worked with U.S. Reps. Roger Marshall (R - 1st Dist. - Kansas) and Anthony Brindisi (D - 22nd Dist. - N.Y.) to introduce bipartisan legislation called the Real MEAT (Marketing Edible Artificials Truthfully) Act in October 2019. Then a month later U.S. Senators Deb Fischer (R – Nebraska) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D – Nevada) introduced a companion bill to the Real MEAT Act in the Senate. Specifically, the Real MEAT Act would establish a federal definition of beef, clarify the imitation nature of these alternative protein products, and enhance the federal government’s ability to enforce the law of misbranded imitation meat. This bill’s introduction was a direct result of our team working across party lines to ensure that cattle producers and consumers are protected from misleading and deceptive marketing by fake meat companies.
*Feb. 7, 2020 - News Release: "NCBA Releases Consumer Research Showing Widespread Confusion About Contents of Plant-Based Fake Meat" Read more about the survey here
*Dec. 11. 2019 - Beltway Beef Podcast: "Kent Bacus on USMCA, Danielle Beck on Senate Real MEAT Act"
*Dec. 11, 2019 - News Release: "NCBA Applauds U.S. Senate Introduction of Real MEAT Act"
*Oct. 28, 2019 - News Release: "Cattlemen Applaud Introduction of Real MEAT Act of 2019''
*July 30, 2019 - News Release: "NCBA Takes the Fight to Fake Meat at Summer Business Meeting"
*Mar. 7, 2019 - News Release: "Formal Lab-Grown Fake Meat Agreement is 'What Consumers Deserve"
* Feb. 6, 2019 - News Release: "NCBA Announces Campaign for 'Fake Meat Facts"
* Oct. 24, 2018 - Beltway Beef Podcast: LIVE From the Big Ol' Fake Meat Hearing in DC
* Sept. 25, 2018: Official NCBA Comments to FDA re: Fake Meat
* July 12, 2018 - Danielle Beck's written comments at FDA Hearing re: fake meat
* April 10, 2018 - NCBA News Release: NCBA Lays Out Principles for Regulating Fake Meat
* April 10, 2018 - NCBA's Full Comments to USDA Re: Fake Meat
* April 10, 2018 - Beltway Beef Podcast with NCBA's Danielle Beck Re: Fake Meat Comments
* Feb. 20, 2018 - Beltway Beef Podcast: We Tried Fake Meat So You Don't Have To!