In November 2023, Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE), a cattle rancher, introduced the Real Marketing Edible Artificials Truthfully Act of 2023, also known as the “Real MEAT Act.” The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
According to the bill’s text, the proposal is intended to allow consumers to “make informed decisions in choosing between meat products such as beef and imitation meat products.” Senator Fischer’s proposal would implement enforcement risks for “imitation meat” products. Among other things, the bill would require the word “imitation” be added to the name of imitation meat food products that do not contain meat ingredients “harvested in a traditional matter” (a phrase that is not further defined under the bill).
This is not the first time Senator Fischer has introduced the Real MEAT Act. In 2019, Senator Fischer introduced a largely similar version of the bill, which was cosponsored by Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and former Senators Ben Sasse (R-NE) and James Inhofe (R-OK), but the 2019 bill did not advance past committee.
Perkins Coie’s food regulatory team continues to track legislative developments at the federal and state levels affecting meat products and innovative foods.