Status (4/13/21): A win! PBFA called on Virginia Governor Northam to veto GB 199. Northam vetoed it in a major win for plant-based foods. 

A statement from Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA)’s executive director, Michele Simon: 

PBFA applauds Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s recent veto of HB 119, which would have prohibited the use of the word “milk” on plant-based milk labels. 

The governor aptly stated:

“Eliminating the ability to label certain food products with the term “milk” could hinder some businesses’ ability to thrive in Virginia. This bill likely conflicts with both the United States Constitution and the Constitution of Virginia and each’s protection of commercial speech. Accordingly, I veto this bill.”

The Governor’s decision was a major victory for the plant-based foods industry. By allowing plant-based milk companies to label their products accurately, Governor Northam is promoting a business-friendly environment that allows for plant-based innovation in Virginia. The decision to veto this misguided bill also upholds our members’ First Amendment rights to clearly and truthfully label their foods.

The Plant Based Foods Association opposed the bill in the legislature and asked the governor to veto the measure. Read our letter to Governor Northam here).