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Nebraska Senator Introduces The Real MEAT Act In Pushback Against 'Phony Meat'

Nebraska Senator Introduces The Real MEAT Act In Pushback Against 'Phony Meat'

Plant-based food maker Beyond Meat Inc (NASDAQ: BYND) could face some potential difficulties in the U.S. market after Sen. Deb Fischer, a Nebraska Republican, introduced the Real MEAT Act.

Senator From Agricultural State Attacks 'Phony Meat' 

Fischer wrote in an op-ed published Tuesday in The Wall Street Journal that she has a "beef with phony meat."

Plant-based and protein alternative food products aren't just trying to imitate beef, they are running "smear campaigns" against real beef, making use of deceptive labeling and marketing to confuse consumers, she said. 

The Real MEAT Act would put an end to deceptive labeling and marketing, the senator said. 

The problem may extend beyond just what consumers see in the grocery aisle, Fischer said in the WSJ op-ed. 

For example, Beyond Meat removed a statistic from its website that claimed eating meat increases the likelihood of cancer and heart disease, she said.

A survey by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association found 80% of consumers believe alternative protein food items offer the same or better nutritional benefit compared to beef, the senator said. 

Fischer: Americans Should Know What They're Eating 

Real beef contains less fat, saturated fat and sodium compared than alternative products, Fischer wrote.

Real beef also contains more protein, and the marketing labels don't have a long list of ingredients, she said; a Beyond Burger product consists of 22 ingredients.

The Real MEAT Act calls on lawmakers to not only define a "beef" product but mandate that imitation meat products state on the label that there is no actual meat, Fischer wrote.

The American public has a right to know exactly what they are eating, and the beef industry doesn't deserve to be victim of a smear campaign, she said. 

Beef Group Endorses Bill

Fischer said she will continue building support for her bill in the Senate and the Agricultural Committee.

She has the support of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, which  said in a statement obtained by Global Meat News that it is evident "fake-meat companies are continuing to mislead consumers."

"We commend the efforts of Senator Fischer on introducing this legislation, which would end deceptive labeling of fake meat products and allow cattle producers to compete on a level playing field," the statement said. 

Related Links:

McDonald's Canada Boss: We Will Always Be Known For Beef

Beyond Meat Expands Presence In Canada With Beyond Beef

Photo courtesy of Beyond Meat. 


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