Alan Redfield (R-Livingston) introduced House Bill 327 on Thursday and dubbed it the “Real Meat Act.”
This bill defines “cell-cultured edible product” as the concept of meat, including but not limited to muscle cells, fat cells, connective tissue, blood, and other components produced via cell culture, rather than from a whole slaughtered animal. Then it clarifies the definition of meat by stating that the term does not include cell-cultured edible product. It also ensures that hamburger or ground beef only includes beef that meets the clarified definition of meat. Furthermore, it states in both the Health and Safety Title and the Livestock Title that labeling cell-cultured edible protein as “meat” is misbranding and may not be done.
The Montana Farm Bureau came out in support of this bill saying the passage of HB 327 is important to Montana’s farmers and ranchers because we are proud of the high quality, real meat products we raise. We believe consumers deserve accurate and complete information about the food they consume and this bill will provide just that. Cell-cultured edible products are not yet commercially available, but when they enter the marketplace, Montana needs to be ready to identify them properly. We don’t want our consumers deceived into purchasing a product that may not be what they expect in taste, texture, nutrition or quality.
A similar bill was introduced to the Senate Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation Committee last week.