This week, the state Assembly passed a package of three bills designed to stop misleading labels on imitation “dairy” and “meat” products.
The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, Dairy Business Association and Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association are calling for quick action in the state Senate.
AB 73/SB 81 and AB 74/SB 83 would prohibit the labeling of food as milk or as a dairy product or ingredient, if the food is not made from the milk of a cow or other hooved mammal. The bills would bring Wisconsin in line with existing but currently unenforced FDA regulations defining these products.
AB 75/SB 82 would prohibit labeling plant-based meat alternatives and cell-cultured meat alternatives as “meat” or a similar term.
The bills would only take effect if 10 states out of a group of 15 approve similar bans by 2031. The move is designed to make sure the bills don’t violate the Constitution’s commerce clause, which gives Congress the right to regulate interstate commerce, explained Rebekah Sweeney of WCMA.
WFBF President Kevin Krentz, DBA President Amy Penterman and Sweeney agree that Wisconsin taking the lead on this issue as America’s Dairyland will encourage other states to follow suit.
The trio also say in an interview with Mid-West Farm Report that in addition to protecting farmer checkoff marketing dollars, it protects consumers from misleading labeling.