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Relating to the advertising and labeling of certain food products.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
HB 316 would revise labeling requirements for certain food products. Under HB 316 a product would be considered misbranded if an analogue (meat substitute) product does not not bear in prominent type of uniform size immediately before the name of the product any of the following terms: analogue, meatless, plant-based, made from plants, or a similar qualifying term or disclaimer. The bill would enact similar labeling requirements for cell-cultured products.
In determining whether or not a food has been mislabeled, the Department of State Health Services would have to consider a variety of specific factors outlined in the bill.
HB 316 would also update the definition of various product categories including "analogue product", "beef", "cell-cultured product", "meat", "cell-cultured", "plant-based", "insect-based", "pork", "poultry", and "poultry products".
Texas Action opposes HB 316 which is contrary to our free market, limited government, and personal responsibility principles. The market for alternative foods is a fairly self-selecting market. It is unlikely that a person looking for a good ribeye is going to be deceived by a misleading label on an analogue or other non-meat product. To the extent that some product packaging may be intentionally deceptive or unclear, Texans may look to provisions of the Deceptive Trade Practices Act for a remedy.
In any case, Texas should not be in the business of micromanaging the terminology of food product labeling. For these reasons we oppose HB 316.