USA – Texas governor, Gregory Wayne Abbott, has signed a new bill for plant-based and cultivated meat labeling to incorporate a prominent product label type with a similar format and distinguishable traits as well as a clarifying language to counter confusion in the product’s market.

Based on the new law, the Texas government requires plant-based or fermented analogs of meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs to have a visible label around it labeling products as “analog,” “meatless,” “plant-based,” “made from plants” or with a clarifying language.

“Confusion at the meat counter is abundant for all consumers. Labels and packaging for meat and alternative meat products are often similar and sometimes indistinguishable from each other,” the Texas Fram Bureau stated.

The bill suggested that a similar requirement for cultivated meat requires that any food product made cell culturing to produce tissue have a similar clarifying label.

In discussing the labeling issue, the Texas Farm Bureau and Texas Cattle Feeders repeatedly cited a 2020 survey of 1,200 Texas consumers that found one in five who had purchased plant-based products felt misled by its label, noting they had thought the product contained real meat.

Texas’s new law is like the ones signed a few years ago in several other states with the intent to keenly differentiate between traditional slaughtered meat and plant-based or cultured meat.

Recently, the cultivated protein industry has received growing attention due to rising investment, technological advancement, and progress toward reaching price parity with conventional animal protein.

Multiple benefits associated with cultured meat, including low environmental impact, eliminating the need to raise animals, and a decrease in public health risks have also contributed to boosting the global cultured meat market growth.

According to the latest cultivated meat market reports, the product’s market size was valued at $1.64 million in 2021 and is estimated to reach $2788.1 million by 2030, registering a CAGR of 95.8% from 2022 to 2030. 

The report also noted that cultivated proteins are aiming to address the negative externalities increasingly associated with conventional, intensive animal agriculture including global environmental degradation, dangers to human health, biodiversity loss, and moral concerns.

In 2021, the USDA issued a request for information soliciting suggestions for the labeling of cell-cultivated meat and poultry which would address consumer expectations for the products, not be false or misleading, and consider economic data.

Analysts have indicated that cultured meat can be seen as an alternative protein product to consumers who are shifting their focus toward adapting to a more nutritional diet that is aimed at a greater sustainable lifestyle and has a lesser dependency on animal proteins.

In addition, individuals that are allergic to animal-based proteins are the major consumer base for alternative proteins. 

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