A proposal that might name for “reality in labeling” of meals merchandise, together with meat, sailed via the House Agricultural Committee on Thursday. The state’s high agricultural chief and official agricultural teams backed the invoice, arguing it will defend the state’s farmers and provides customers clear selections.
An identical proposal, which might prohibit firms from labeling their plant-based mostly merchandise like milk, handed the House floor the identical day in a 70-27 vote.
“We’re merely saying that what’s on the label must be what’s within the product,” Commissioner of Agriculture Mike Strain instructed committee members. “You can’t manufacture one thing to promote it, utilizing a normal that we all know.”
Each labeling payments are sponsored by Sen. Francis Thompson, D-Delhi, who stated the goal to guard the state’s meat and dairy industries by figuring out the supply of meals.
Historically, agriculture has been one of many state’s financial backbones for many years. However, costs for dairy have plummeted, and the variety of dairy farms within the state has declined quickly over the past decade. In 2004, Louisiana had more than 300 dairy farms, based on The Dairy Alliance. Now the state has round 100.
Supporters argue that the milk labeling invoice would assist shoppers by defining milk as “milk of hooved mammals” and prohibiting plant-based mostly drink producers from advertising and marketing almond milk, oat milk and coconut milk as milk.
The payments have acquired bipartisan assist all through this legislative session.
Whereas opponents of the invoice, together with plant primarily based meals firms, mentioned the proposed regulation would go against their First Amendment rights, Thompson and Pressure indicated that could be determined by litigation.
Some committee members had been involved in the labeling invoice may harm small companies that promote plant-primarily based merchandise. Rep. John Stefanski, R-Crowley, who co-sponsored the invoice, mentioned the legal responsibility would fall to the producer who makes the product label.