May 1, 2019In the News

Benson quoted in Law360's article "States Not Waiting On Feds To Decide What Makes Meat Meat"


Michael Best Partner Paul Benson was quoted in the Law360 article "States Not Waiting On Feds To Decide What Makes Meat Meat."

With meat made in laboratories a couple years away from hitting grocery store shelves, several states have passed laws banning such food from being labeled as meat. But with no guidance coming anytime soon from federal regulators, those laws will ultimately face preemption challenges when federal agencies eventually weigh in.

The USDA and the FDA announced their agreement to share the regulation of cell-cultured meat only in early March, so regulations are unlikely to come in the near future. But states, particularly those in the Plains and with large numbers of cattle ranchers, are passing these laws out of an interest in protecting local industries, attorneys said.

In addition to the seven states that have already passed these laws, more than 20 are mulling similar bills, according to Nicole Manu, an attorney with the Good Food Institute, a nonprofit advocacy group for plant-based and cell-cultured foods.

The trend does seem premature, given that cell-cultured meat hasn't yet hit the mass market, Paul Benson of Michael Best & Friedrich LLP said.

But the arguments that cell-cultured meat is good for the environment have persuasive appeal and have some in the meat industry concerned that lab-grown meat could change meat-eaters' habits, according to Benson.

To read the full article, click here.

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