“The beef industry in America has been urging legislatures to restrict the use of the word ‘meat’ to that which comes from an animal carcass,” reports the Economist.
When big business, nay massive, begins to muscle small business (with a tiny share of the food market), you ask critical questions—that is if you are a fair-minded thinker, as conservative and libertarian-minded people ought to be.
The latter must certainly reject restrictions on speech in advertising.
Which is why it is clear on whose side a fair-minded person will be in the case of the meat producers vs. the makers and marketers of plant-based meat.
Remember, the word “meat” is NOT A TRADEMARK, it’s a noun in the English language.
So longs as plant-based meat producers are clearly listing the ingredients on the packaging of their products and are not defrauding the consumer—I know on whose side I am. But then I’m fair-minded, not partisan.
..At least nine American states—including Arkansas, Missouri and Mississippi—have now agreed. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association is also asking the Food and Drug Administration, the federal regulator, to outlaw what it sees as misleading labelling of plant-based meat. In April the European Parliament’s agriculture committee recommended the introduction of a ban on plant-based meat producers using such terms as “burgers” and “sausages”, although the proposal has not yet been debated or voted upon by the full parliament. The European Court of Justice ruled that many plant-based alternatives could not be labelled “milk” in 2017, but this did not noticeably affect demand.
The fight over labels is a sign that meat producers are on the defensive, says Mr Friedrich of the GFI. “The meat industry attempting to define meat as something that comes from a slaughtered animal is every bit as absurd as trying to say that your phone is not a phone because it doesn’t plug into a wall any more,” he claims.
When plant-based meat becomes common, language will no doubt adapt. The word “meat” may one day simply evoke the sensory experience that comes from eating a particular blend of fats, amino acids, minerals and water.
Whether that is made by slaughtering animals or by some other means depends on the ingenuity of the new meat makers. …