Tofurky sues to stop Missouri law over meat terminology

EFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Vegetarian food-maker Tofurky is suing to defend its right to describe its products with meat terminology like “sausage” and “hot dogs,” as long as the packaging makes clear what the ingredients are.

The Hood River-based company and an advocacy group filed a federal lawsuit Monday to stop a Missouri law that would prohibit “misrepresenting” products as meat if they’re not from “harvested livestock or poultry.” The statute, which is scheduled to take effect Tuesday, comes amid a broader debate over what to call emerging meat alternatives.

The Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, which supported the statute, says its concern isn’t with products like Tofurky that make clear they’re from plants. It is with the emerging science of meat grown by culturing animal cells in a lab, and whether they’ll disclose how they were made.