On Tuesday, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed into law HB 3806, the Oklahoma Meat Consumer Protection Act, which establishes regulations and standards on packaging and advertising for alternative meat products such as plant-based proteins.
This bill was a priority for the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Assn. (OCA) during the 2020 legislative session. OCA brought the bill to the legislature to establish rules for how plant-based companies can market their products in Oklahoma.
OCA executive vice president Michael Kelsey said, “This law will require that companies wanting to sell plant-based products in Oklahoma must use wording type such as vegetarian, imitation or plant based on the package that is uniform is size and prominence to the name of the product.”
Oklahoma state Rep. Toni Hasenbeck (R) and her family are beef producers in the Elgin area, and she was one of the lead sponsors of the bill. “I am always willing to help our beef producers as they toil to raise a great product for our consumers,” Hasenbeck said.
On the Oklahoma Senate side, Sen. Michael Bergstrom (R) took the lead.
“Clever marketing practices and deceptive labeling on plant-based meat alternatives can be confusing for shoppers looking to purchase meat-based items at the grocery store,” Bergstrom said. “HB 3806 ensures that clarity and accuracy of labeling meat and plant-based food items, giving consumers peace of mind that they are purchasing exactly what they intended.”
OCA said it worked closely with the Oklahoma Pork Council (OPC) and the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food & Forestry (ODAFF) on this important legislation.
“We greatly appreciated the opportunity to work with our friends at the Oklahoma Pork Council on this bill,” Kelsey said.
According to Oklahoma Pork Council executive director Roy Lee Lindsey, “The Oklahoma Pork Council appreciates the work of the legislature to approve HB 3806 relating to labeling products as 'meat.' Common sense tells us that for plants to become 'pork,' those plants must be fed to a pig. Thank you to Rep. Toni Hasenbeck and Sen. Michael Bergstrom for their leadership on this issue. Also, thank you to the House and Senate for your support of this important legislation.”
OCA said it will now work with ODAFF on finalizing the rules of the legislation.