Working at every level


Everyone should play by the same rules. GFI lobbies state and federal legislators to support policies that ensure a level playing field for alternative proteins and advance their development. We also actively oppose laws that unfairly restrict the use of standard meat and dairy terms on plant-based meat, plant-based milk, and other alternative protein labels.  


As the demand for alternative proteins rises, some lobbyists in the conventional meat and dairy industries seek to use “standards of identity” to prevent alternative protein producers from using conventional meat and dairy terms on their product labels. We submit comments, petitions, and letters to regulators in order to defend the right of alternative protein producers to use clear naming conventions. This ensures that all companies can compete on a level playing field.


Laws that prevent alternative protein producers from using conventional meat terms on their labels are patronizing to consumers, disruptive to our free-market economy, and unconstitutional. We defend alternative protein producers’ constitutional rights by challenging label censorship laws in court, standing up for free speech, free markets, and consumer choice.

Beyond meat beyond burger product on shelf photo


An overview of food label censorship

Label censorship, which prohibits the use of meaty terms on alternative protein products, is anti-free market, unconstitutional, and unnecessary.

A photo showing a variety of plant based meats


The First Amendment right to use clear labels on food

Alternative protein producers have a First Amendment right to describe their products in a clear manner consistent with consumer expectations.

Gfi director of policy jessica almy defends terms like “plant-based burger” on cnn

GFI defends plant-based labels on CNN

Opposing Louisiana’s label censorship law, Director of Policy Jessica Almy defends plant-based meat producer Tofurky’s constitutional right to use terms like “plant-based meat” on their labels. By opposing this and similar efforts in other states, GFI is protecting all alternative protein companies’ First Amendment rights.

Media highlights

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Tofurky is suing Louisiana for the right to label its veggie burgers “veggie burgers”

Vox covers Tofurky’s lawsuit challenging Louisiana’s label censorship law. Represented by GFI and the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Tofurky asserts that Louisiana’s law violates its First Amendment rights.

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From almond milk to veggie burgers, does anyone really have trouble knowing what these products are?

GFI’s Director of Policy Jessica Almy teams up with R Street Fellow Shoshana Weissmann to lay out the case against protectionist and unconstitutional governmental censorship of product labels.

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You call that meat? Not so fast, cattle ranchers say

New York Times gives an overview of label censorship laws, highlighting that the industry groups urging legislators to introduce such laws are threatened by alternative proteins.

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Matt Ball: Don’t get caught calling it a veggie burger

Arizona Daily Star publishes GFI’s Senior Communications Specialist Matt Ball’s op-ed on Arizona’s failed label censorship bill, explaining that it violated free speech and free markets.

Recent blog posts

Read more on how we are supporting alternative protein producers’ constitutional right to communicate clearly with consumers.


How plant-based companies are fighting back against label censorship

With help from organizations like GFI and ALDF, plant-based companies are challenging unnecessary and unconstitutional label censorship laws and transforming the policy landscape.

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Tofurky files first amendment challenge against Louisiana label censorship law

Lawsuit Challenges Law Designed to Disadvantage Plant-Based Products

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Arkansas wants to make sure you know ‘almonds don’t lactate’

The Good Food Institute, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, and the ACLU of Arkansas are bringing a lawsuit on behalf of Tofurky challenging Arkansas’ unconstitutional label censorship.

Sardine tin full of swedish fish

Leveling the playing field: A new approach

If the government bans meat and milk terms on labels for plant-based and cell-based products, it should apply the same linguistic approach throughout the supply chain for all foods and…

Meat is for everyone on top of preamble

States attempt to criminalize using “meat” on cell-based meat labels

Lawmakers are pushing bills that would throw people in jail for putting the word “meat” or similar terms on the label. It’s a bad move for so many reasons.