Beef-friendly Nebraska eyes regulations on the word ‘meat’

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — More than four months after Missouri became the first U.S. state to regulate the term “meat” on product labels, Nebraska’s powerful farm groups are pushing for similar protection from veggie burgers, tofu dogs and other items that look and taste like meat.

Nebraska lawmakers will consider a bill this year to prevent companies that package and sell food from advertising plant-based, insect-based and lab-grown products as meat. Similar measures are pending in Tennessee, Virginia and Wyoming.

Critics say the measures infringe on companies’ free-speech rights.

In Nebraska, farm groups have found an unusual ally in state Sen. Carol Blood, a vegetarian from suburban Omaha. Blood says Nebraska’s agriculture industry needs to be protected for the good of the whole state. Nebraska is one of the nation’s top states for livestock production.

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