Vegan Food Company Sues Oklahoma Over Product Label Law

Oklahoma has a new law governing labeling for some vegan products. A vegan company doesn’t like that and has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of western Oklahoma. The suit was filed by Upton’s Naturals Company, an Illinois-based business that sells plant-based foods, and the Plant-Based Foods Association, a group with 170 members.

The Tulsa World says the suit seeks a preliminary injunction preventing House Bill 3806 from taking effect, a permanent injunction, as well as attorney’s fees, costs, and expenses.

The suit specifically alleges that Oklahoma lawmakers passed the measure to protect the state’s meat-industry groups from the competition brought by plant-based food makers. The law was supported by the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association. It does permit companies to use words like meat, beef, and bacon on their labels. However, they also need to include a disclaimer that the products were derived from plant-based sources “in type that’s the same size and prominence to the name of the product.” Plaintiffs say prohibiting the use of meat-based terms without the disclaimer creates confusion among consumers, and that the law would “fail any level of First Amendment scrutiny.”

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