Senate Bill 68 Supports Truth in Labeling
Petri-dish protein may soon be prohibited from being labeled as meat in South Dakota, thanks to South Dakota’s state senators unanimously passing Senate Bill 68 Feb. 20, 2019.
Currently under review with the House Ag Committee, if passed by the House, SB68 will ensure that only meat harvested from animal carcasses can be labeled as meat.
In a state where more than 3 million cows outnumber the state’s 869,666 citizens, SB68 not only supports consumers’ right to know where their food comes from, but it supports South Dakota’s number one economic driver.
“Agriculture is our number one industry by a long way. SB68 will positively impact our industry in a big way,” said Karla Hofhenke, S.D. Farmers Union Executive Director.
A third-generation cattle producer, Hofhenke says she is proud of the state’s leaders taking a stand. “South Dakota is among the states leading the nation to ensure truth in labeling for their citizens.”
Hofhenke says that beyond truth in labeling, SB68 protects the trust livestock producers have built among consumers that when they purchase U.S. meat products, consumers know are buying a quality, safe product. “Livestock producers of all kinds – beef, lamb, pork, poultry and others – spent generations perfecting the quality and safety of their product. We’ve worked hard to earn consumer trust. A new, lab-manufactured food product, cannot ride on our coattails and put our industry at risk.”
SB68 amends the adulterated and misbranded food chapter of the South Dakota Codified Law code section 39 - 4 to further define the term “meat.” Read the amendment here: https://sdlegislature.gov/docs/legsession/2019/Bills/SB68SAG.pdf.
Truth in labeling is a policy focus of South Dakota Farmers Union. In October 2018, Hofhenke traveled to D.C. with members to testify before the U.S. Department of Agriculture, encouraging the organization to reserve the term meat for protein harvested from animal carcasses only – and not allowing lab manufactured protein products to use the term.
USDA has yet to reach a decision. Which makes SB68 and bills like it in other states, timely.
“If it matters to the states, we hope our congressional leaders will take note and encourage the USDA to follow suite. Consumers have a right to know what they are eating,” Hofhenke explains.