Meat sounding, revolt in the U.S.


Meat sounding, deceptive evocation of meat names on different foods. A problem so serious that it caused a revolt of cattle ranchers in the US. What pitfalls lurk beneath this phenomenon, which the European Commission stubbornly ignores?

La US Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) appealed to the Department of Agriculture (United States Department of Agriculture, USDA). There is an urgent need to define what is meant by ”


‘ e ‘


‘. This is not a union issue or a philosophical issue; rather, it is a matter of protecting consumers against the ‘new advance.

Confusion reigns supreme,

denounce U.S. farmers in their petition addressed to the

Food Safety Inspection Service

(at the USDA), thanks to the increasing development of alternative sources of protein. Vegan products, insects, synthetic biology.

The legislature

should delimit the possibility of use of the name ‘meat’ and related names-those referring to animal species, cuts and meat-based preparations-to only those products derived from ‘

animals born, raised, slaughtered and processed in a traditional manner

‘. There would, however, be something to be said about ‘tradition’ in overseas animal husbandry, given the use of cloning techniques (with no regulations whatsoever, no licensing and no traceability) and doping veterinary drugs.

Between Meat sounding and Lab Meat, the investments of the giants

The breeders’ petition
is not at all extravagant, where one considers the enormous resources put forth by the big investors on alternative proteins. Meat giant Tyson has set its sights on Beyond Meat, a producer of plant-based burgers(Beyond Burger) that have evolved to the point where they best mimic the appearance, taste and texture of ground meat. In competition with Impossible Foods, which in turn makes Impossible Burger.

Lab Meat
, lab-produced meat, is made by in vitro cultivation of animal cells that, however, have never been part of a living creature. In the absence of a definition of ‘vegetarian food’ and ‘vegan food,’ such products could fall at least into the former category. Memphis Meats, an industry player, has already garnered the attentions of such investors as Cargill, Richard Brandson, Bill Gates, and investment funds (DFJ, Atomic). The first products are expected to be available on the shelf in 2020-2021.

Cheese Sounding, Milk Sounding, Meat Sounding. Disposable

Consumers in the United States are still completely unprotected against the phenomena of
Cheese Sounding
Milk Sounding
. Namely, the false evocation of cheese and dairy products in labeling and advertisements of different kinds of foods. In 2017, the House adopted the Dairy Pride Act, H. 778, with the goal of excluding the recall of words such as ‘milk,’ ‘cheese,’ and ‘yogurt’ on products not made from real milk. But the regulatory project is still at a standstill. (3)

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
has raised its voice against Fake Meat, however, declaring firm opposition ‘to alternative proteins being allowed to use the nomenclature associated with proteins derived from cattle production.’ Who will win the battle in the Trump era, Wall Street or the Ranchers?

Dario Dongo


(1) See reg. EU 1308/13, so-called CMO (Common Market Organization).

(2) See reg. EU 2283/15

(3) Thus the Curd (curd) bill, H.R 4828, passed in recent months in the House

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Dario Dongo, lawyer and journalist, PhD in international food law, founder of WIISE (FARE - GIFT - Food Times) and Égalité.