Beef industry petition targets clean meat

The US Cattlemen’s Association is petitioning the USDA to stop clean meat from using the word “meat.”
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Next up in the naming wars: clean meat. 

Where the dairy industry has recently been railing against plant-based milk and the national beef lobby is looking to censor plant-based beef, the US Cattleman’s Association (USCA) has now filed a petition with the USDA asking that it only allow the name “meat” to be used on products that have come from slaughtered cattle, not directly from animal cells or plant proteins. 

As GFI Policy Director told Quartz, “It seems like they’re trying to meddle in the free market. [Clean meat] producers have a First Amendment right to label their products clearly and in a way that consumers understand.”  

This shortsighted move from the beef industry is disappointing when seen alone, but it occurs within the broader context of meat industry interest in plant-based meat and the emerging technology of clean meat, which would dramatically increase the efficiency of meat production without the environmental and public health harms inherent in today’s meat-production process. 

Plant-based and clean meat have the potential to fundamentally transform meat production for the better. It’s up to the industry whether they will align themselves with this change and share the benefits, or fight this change to their detriment. 

At GFI we see a future of meat production that is just as good for producers and consumers — for animals and the planet. We encourage the meat industry to join us.

To learn more about our work, click here.


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Emily Byrd