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Missouri 'meat' label battle continues

Contributed by Lisa M. Keefe Published on 17 January 2019

The lawsuit filed by the company that makes Tofurky meat substitute (Turtle Island Foods Inc.) and the Good Food Institute (GFI) is shaping up to be a drawn-out battle over a number of legal issues – this, before the question of the legality of the state’s definition of “meat” for commercial purposes is even broached.

According to court documents, the plaintiffs in late October filed for a preliminary injunction with the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Missouri, in an effort to prevent the state from enforcing the law while the case is ongoing. The state did not answer the filing until Dec. 28, and the law did go into effect on Jan. 1, as originally planned. The law, then, prohibiting the use of the term “meat” to identify any food product not actually harvested from livestock is effective at least until the court makes a decision on the original request.

The state, in a filing in early December, presented its arguments against the original complaint. The state’s lawyers refuted each point made in the original filing and said the proper response would be for the case to be dismissed altogether.

At this point, both sides have petitioned for an extension of the deadline to respond to the previous filings until Jan. 22.

The schedule for the next several months includes a deadline for discovery of May 31 and a deadline for all motions, including motions for summary judgment, of June 28, 2019.  end mark

Lisa M. Keefe is an editor with Meatingplace, a news outlet for the poultry and meat processing industry.

Taken from a Jan. 14, 2019, Meatingplace.com industry news brief.

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