In Arkansas, it’s about to be illegal to call a veggie burger a veggie burger. The new law, set to go into effect on July 24, is the latest in a series of state laws to ban plant-based meat producers from using “meat” and related words in their labelling. But a new federal lawsuitargues that the Arkansas law violates both the First Amendment right to free speech and the Fourteenth Amendment right to due process.
The law “has morphed into something even more extreme” than some of the other state laws, says Jessica Almy, director of policy for the nonprofit Good Food Institute, which researches the plant-based meat industry and is a party to the lawsuit, filed on behalf of Tofurky along with the ACLU and Animal Legal Defense Fund. The group also sued Missouri over a similar law last year, the case is still ongoing. Many states have passed similar laws since, but Arkansas is thee next to take effect. The ban there extends to phrases like “plant-based sausage” and “veggie hot dogs” and the use of other terms that historically have been associated with a specific agricultural product—meaning “cauliflower rice” is also banned, since it isn’t technically rice, as is “almond milk,” despite the fact that “milk” has a long history of meaning more than a product from a cow.
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