Aug. 28 (UPI) -- Missouri became the first state in the country Tuesday to prohibit food makers from using of the word "meat" to describe anything other than animal flesh.
The state law prohibits misrepresenting a product as meat that is" not derived from harvested production livestock or poultry."
Violation of the law may result in a fine between $100 to $1,000 and a year in jail.
The Missouri Cattlemen's Association had fought for the law, which became effective on Tuesday after having been signed into law in June by then-governor Eric Greitens. Shopper confusion confusion and protecting local ranchers are reasons for the law.
"The big issue was marketing with integrity and ... consumers knowing what they're getting," Missouri Cattlemen's Association spokesman Mike Deering told USA Today. "There's so much unknown about this."
Meanwhile, the global meat substitute market is expected to be valued at $7.5 billion by 2025, Allied Market research said.
Turtle Island Foods, which produces plant-based products and uses the trademark name Tofurky, challenged the constitutionality of the law in federal court. The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit on the company's behalf on free speech grounds.
The Good-Foods Institute, a nonprofit in Washington, D.C., that advocates for plant-based alternatives to meat, is also a plaintiff in the suit.
Plaintiffs argued that there was no confusion from consumers about calling plant-based products "meats" and said the office "responsible for protecting consumers . . . has received zero complaints."
The lawsuit sought a permanent injunction against the law, costs and attorney fees.