The state of Missouri is giving companies that sell meat substitutes until the start of 2019 to comply with a new law regulating how they can label their products.
The controversial measure, passed earlier this year by wide margins in the Missouri House and Senate, took effect Tuesday. It states that products not derived from actual animals cannot be labeled as meat.
The Missouri Department of Agriculture said Thursday it will not refer complaints to prosecutors if meat substitutes are clearly labeled with terms like “plant-based,” or “lab-grown” in close proximity to the product name.
Producers of plant-based meat alternatives and lab-grown meats have resisted the change. A suit filed this week says the law violates their first amendment right and unfairly props up the state’s agriculture industry.
Supporters of the bill said it would help the state’s ranchers and farmers, and that it protects consumers.
Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch