Oklahoma NPR Affiliate Quotes McGuireWoods’ Ben Abel on Plant-Based Food Labeling

January 6, 2022

KOSU, Oklahoma’s flagship NPR affiliate, quoted McGuireWoods Charlottesville associate Benjamin Abel in a Dec. 10, 2021, article on an Oklahoma food-labeling law being challenged in federal court by Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA), a meat substitute trade group.

Oklahoma law, which PBFA claims is “unconstitutional, anticompetitive and burdensome,” requires a disclaimer on plant-based products that is as large as the product’s name. The law follows similar labeling laws in other states, including Missouri.

Abel noted that similar laws have fared poorly in the courts. “If a state's attempts at legislating said you could not use a term at all, those were likely to be enjoined.”

However, the use of certain terms was not banned outright by Oklahoma and Missouri.

“What they’re saying is, ‘If Oklahoma says we have to have labels that have the word ‘plant-based,’ just as large as the word hot dog, but California doesn't require us to have the term ‘plant-based’ just as large as the term hot dog, what are we supposed to do?’ ” Abel said.

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