New bill seeks clarity in meat labeling practices

Feb 05, 2024


To bring clarity to the grocery aisles, recent legislation dubbed the “Fair and Accurate Ingredient Representation on Labels Act of 2024” has been put forward by Sen. Roger Marshall and Rep. Mark Alford.  

This move, strongly supported by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and other key agricultural organizations, seeks to establish definitive labeling for meat and poultry products, including those of the imitation and cell-cultured variety. 

The heart of this legislation lies in its commitment to transparency. By mandating the use of terms like “imitation” and explicit disclaimers for products lacking real meat or poultry, it ensures that consumers are not misled.  

This is particularly significant for cell-cultured products, which will require labels that accurately reflect their lab-grown origins. 

Overseeing this new labeling directive would be the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), in collaboration with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to uphold inspection standards.  

This regulatory approach underscores the importance of maintaining consumer trust and protecting the integrity of traditional meat and poultry products. 

NPPC President Scott Hays voiced the collective sentiment of many in the agricultural sector, emphasizing that clear labeling is not just about preserving the livelihoods of those within the industry, but also about respecting consumer choice.  

The ability to distinguish between various protein products allows individuals to make purchases that align with their values and dietary preferences. 

This legislation represents a significant step towards bridging the information gap between consumers and the products they choose to consume. As the landscape of food technology evolves, such measures ensure that the principles of fairness and accuracy remain at the forefront of our food systems. 

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