Nebraska lawmakers to consider ban on labeling meat-substitutes as ‘meat'
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Lawmakers in Nebraska this year will consider legislation that would ban companies from labeling plant-based, insect-based and lab-grown products as meat, The Associated Press reported Sunday.

Those products could include veggie burgers and tofu dogs, the AP noted.

State Sen. Carol Blood (D), who is a vegetarian, told the AP that she introduced that legislation because lawmakers need to protect Nebraska's agriculture industry.

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“I’m not bringing this bill to tell people what they can and can’t eat,” she said. “All I’m asking for is truth in advertising. It’s clear that meat comes from livestock, and livestock is our livelihood in Nebraska.”

She added that she proposed the bill after seeing two women in a grocery store who couldn't tell whether a product was a substitute or meat.

Critics of the legislation say it violates the free speech rights of companies that produce alternatives to traditional meat.

Jessica Almy, director of policy for the Washington-based Good Food Institute, told the AP that the legislation “would censor food labels and create consumer confusion where there is none."

“You can’t censor speech just to promote one industry’s financial success," she added.

The consideration of the bill comes after Missouri in August became the first state to ban meat-substitute products from being labeled as "meat."