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Multiple new alternative protein “meats” have the beef industry crying foul

Similar to the dairy industry’s outcry that other “milks”, such as almond, coconut and soy, do not qualify to be labeled as “milk”, the latest petition by the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is looking to implement labeling requirements that would exclude products not derived from animals from the definition of “beef” and “meat”.

The petition calls for any product labeled as “beef” to have “come from cattle that have been born, raised, and harvested in the traditional manner, rather than coming from alternative sources such as a synthetic product from plants, insects, or other non-animal components and any product grown in labs from animal cells.”

Additionally, the petition notes that the definition of “meat” should be limited to animal flesh or tissues harvested in a traditional manner, leaving any synthetic products -- such as those from plants or non-animal components -- as prohibited from being labeled as “meat”.

In an interview with Brownfield AgNews, Colin Woodall of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), said the organization doesn’t have a problem with the technology of creating alternative “meats”, but they are concerned about misleading names and labels on those products, and will work to ensure “those fake meat companies don't use terms like beef, hamburger or steak on their products.”

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