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ICON: Legislature wants accurate dairy labels, should include meat too | Rural Radio Network

ICON: Legislature wants accurate dairy labels, should include meat too

State senators encouraged the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to mandate accurate labels for milk and dairy products, in one of the last acts of the first session of the 106th Legislature.

The use of the terms milk, yogurt, butter, ice cream, and cheese should be used for real dairy products, the legislature declared in LR 13.

Sen. Dave Murman sponsored the resolution. He said products derived from rice, nuts and other substances are sometimes labeled as milk, giving consumers the impression they are buying real dairy products when they are not. The legislature approved the resolution, 28-3.

Murman also noted that 10 dairy farms have closed in Nebraska just since Jan. 1. He said negative economic returns are related to misleading labels.

Meat labels should be accurate too

The Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska strongly urge the FDA to label meat accurately. Meat lookalikes derive from plants or from cells cultured in a laboratory, including so-called “clean meat.” But the products do not come from meat producing livestock.

A pending bill in the Legislature, LB 594, amends Nebraska’s Deceptive Trade Practices Act to make it a crime to mislabel the category of meat.

The Legislature’s Agriculture Committee advanced LB 594 to the floor during the session, but time ran out before it could be debated.

The sponsor, Sen. Carol Blood, told ICON that the bill “will be one of the first bills up next year for a vote” in January 2020.

ICON will hold its annual convention on June 21, featuring the leading research analyst for the Legislature’s Agriculture Committee, Rick Leonard. He will discuss ways to make meat labels more accurate.

ICON’s convention will be held Friday, June 21 in Broken Bow at the Cobblestone Hotel & Suites, beginning at 1:30 p.m.

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