Last week, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly signed into law a bill requiring producers of alternative meat products to include disclaimers on their products that explain that they are not actually made from real meat. The bill goes into effect on July 1st.
Under the new law, "meat analog" products, that use a "meat term," are misbranded unless they include "a disclaimer in a prominent and conspicuous font size, in close proximity to the meat term," that explains that the product is not real meat. Acceptable disclaimers include:
- "This product does not contain meat,"
- "Plant-based," or
- Other equivalent terms designated by state rules.
The labeling requirements only apply to "meat analog" products, which is "any food that approximates the aesthetic qualities, primarily texture, flavor and appearance, or the chemical characteristics of any specific type of meat, meat food product, poultry product or poultry food product, but does not contain any meat, meat food product, poultry product or poultry food product." And, the requirements only apply if the labeling uses a "meat term," which includes, but is not limited to, terms such as "meat, beef, pork, poultry, chicken, turkey, lamb, goat, jerky, steak, hamburger, burger, ribs, roast, bacon, bratwurst, hot dog, ham, sausage, tenderloin, wings, breast and other terms for food that contain any meat, meat food product, poultry product or poultry food product."
The labeling requirements don't apply to restaurant menus and other products, however, where they are identified as an "imitation" product.
"This product does not contain meat"