Plant Based Foods Association provides language to avoid legal challenge

Status (4/13/21): A win! PBFA-recommended amendments to Georgia’s SB 211 have been adopted to encourage plant-based innovation. 

Washington, D.C. – The Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA), the trade association representing 170 plant-based food companies, commends the Georgia legislature for adopting our suggested amendments to maintain a level playing field for the plant-based foods industry.

The amended legislation will allow plant-based food companies to continue using descriptive terms such as “meat” and “burger” associated with plant-based foods when those foods are also labeled as “plant-based” or “vegetarian” or with a similar qualifier. This compromise is inspired by PBFA’s voluntary plant-based meat labeling standard guidelines, and ensures continued access for consumers in the marketplace.

“The compromise language PBFA suggested is a model approach that we implemented in other states to avoid excessive government interference with consumer choice,” said Michele Simon, executive director of PBFA. “The amendments that PBFA recommended and that were incorporated into the Georgia law will ensure a business-friendly environment that allows for plant-based innovation in Georgia. It also means we will not have to file a First Amendment legal challenge to stop the law from taking effect. We also want to thank the Georgia Food Industry Association for their assistance,” Simon added.

This win marks another state-level victory for PBFA in fighting back against unnecessary and unjust lobbying attempts by the conventional meat and animal dairy industries to skew the marketplace in their favor with unconstitutional labeling restriction legislation. 

PBFA has worked to similarly amend legislation in numerous states, such as Wyoming and Mississippi, and to defeat legislation in other states where a compromise could not be reached. In states where legislation has been passed to restrict plant-based food companies’ constitutional right to fairly and accurately label their foods, PBFA and its members have also successfully challenged similar state laws in court on First Amendment grounds.

PBFA will continue work to defend our members’ First Amendment rights to promote their innovative and healthy foods to satisfy consumers’ increasing demand for plant-based foods.