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Court Sides with Missouri in Fake Meat Labeling Case
Missouri Ag Connection - 04/05/2021

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced that his office prevailed in federal appeals court in the case Turtle Island Foods, SPC v. State of Missouri, otherwise known as the fake meat labeling case. Earlier this morning, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed the District Court's ruling in the Attorney General's favor.

"Ensuring that the food that Missourians buy is marketed correctly is of vital importance to both the consumers and the farmers and ranchers that produce that food," said Schmitt. "We will continue to defend the State against any further appeals or challenges in this case."

"A bipartisan majority in the General Assembly made clear their intent to ensure marketing with integrity. Attorney General Schmitt and his team aggressively defended that intent and farm and ranch families are grateful," said Mike Deering, executive vice president of the Missouri Cattlemen's Association.

Turtle Island Foods, operating as Tofurkey, filed suit to obtain a preliminary injunction against a 2018 state statute that prevents "misrepresenting a product as meat that is not derived from harvested production livestock or poultry." The District Court denied the request for preliminary injunction against the statute, and Turtle Island Food/Tofurkey appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

In its opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit stated, "Plaintiffs, Turtle Island Foods d/b/a The Tofurky Company (Tofurky) and the Good Food Institute (the Institute), brought a civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 to challenge the constitutionality of Missouri Revised Statutes § 265.494(7) (the Statute), which criminalizes 'misrepresenting a product as meat that is not derived from harvested production livestock or poultry.' Plaintiffs moved for a preliminary injunction, which the district court denied. We affirm."


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