Status (4/13/21): In a win for plant-based food companies, this bill was defeated in February, 2019.

I’m excited to report that this week, PBFA helped successfully defeat a bill in Virginia that if passed, could have impacted the labeling of plant-based meat alternatives and negatively affected the industry as a whole.

The bill, HB 2274, would have required companies to use the word “imitation” on labels.

Our lobbyist testified at the hearing on Monday against the bill. PBFA also wrote a letter to the Virginia legislature’s agriculture committee opposing the measure. Joining us in signing the letter were the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the National Grocers Association. We are stronger when the food industry stands together so are grateful for our allies’ support.

In the letter, we detailed the adverse effects that passing HB 2274 would have on the plant-based foods industry. Requiring companies to adhere to labeling rules on a state-by-state basis would only add to cost and consumer confusion. You can read the full letter here.

The committee vote to defeat the measure was unanimous!

We are energized by this win and will continue to fight for the First Amendment rights of plant-based food companies all across the country. Similar bills are being introduced in other states, and PBFA is fully prepared to fight every single one of them.

-Michele Simon