US lawmakers spar over future of lab-grown, plant-based foods

grilled duck mephis meats
Grilled duck made from animal cells. Image: Memphis Meats

Towering over a wooden podium in the Arkansas General Assembly….Republican representative David Hillman, a self-declared calf-roper, spoke of steak to pitch his latest bill.

“I want my rib-eye steak to have been walking around on four feet at one time or another,” he said. His proposal, making it illegal for meat-substitute products to be labeled as meat, was swiftly adopted.

Across the US, tens of similar bills have been introduced – some unsuccessfully – as well as half a dozen with opposing aims, as an out-of-sight battle heats up between friends and foes of plant-based meat.

Led by plant-based foods, which mimic the taste, texture and look of meat, the US alt-meat market is forecast to nearly double to $2.5 billion by 2023, according to market research firm Euromonitor International.

Related article:  Viewpoint: 'There are no long-term GMO safety studies,' and 9 other biotech myths debunked

The trend has put the country’s half-a-million meat-industry workers on edge, and prompted more than 20 meat-producing states, from Wyoming to Indiana and Nebraska, to look at adopting legislation similar to Hillman’s, according to The Good Food Institute, a nonprofit that promotes meat alternatives.

In contrast, legislative bodies in states with enthusiastic backers of vegan diets….have pushed bills encouraging plant-based food….

Read full, original article: Meaty debate

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