SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS — Tofurky filed a lawsuit to fight a recent Texas law that makes producers of meat alternatives and cultivated meat label their product a certain way.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund and The Good Food Institute filed the complaint on behalf of Tofurkey in the US District Court for the Western District of Texas.

“Texas consumers deserve unfettered access to the foods of their choosing, and it is insulting to their intelligence – and contrary to the facts – to suggest that they are being misled into selecting plant-based options,” said Jamie Athos, chief executive officer of Tofurkey. “Texans are smart enough to understand that ‘plant-based’ foods are, in fact, made of plants. We hope the courts are likewise smart enough to see through this pretext of ‘confusion’ and hold unconstitutional these lawmakers’ efforts to install regulatory hurdles intended to stifle the growth of the plant-based industry and limit consumer choice.”

The law, which went into effect on Sept. 1, directs plant-based and other alternative products to have “analogue,” “meatless,” “plant-based,” “made from plants,” or similar language appear next to the label with similar size text as the product being sold.

The advocates claim that the law violates the First Amendment by censoring free commercial speech.

States that passed these laws and meat trade associations continue to argue that the law protects consumers from deceptive marketing and prevents confusion about meat alternatives. 

In recent years, laws were signed at the state level in Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and other states, but have been challenged by the Good Food Institute, the Animal Legal Defense Fund and others.

Pending litigation continues for meat labeling laws in Oklahoma and Missouri.