Yep. You read that correctly. If you lie about your meat, and are caught, you could face fines up to $1000, and be thrown in prison for a year. All that, just for labeling your tofurkey as "meat."

According to a law that went into effect today, Tuesday the 28th, it is now illegal to refer to any food not derived from animal tissue as "meat." What it all comes down to is making sure what is labelled as "meat" is actually "meat" and not a deceptively labeled "meat substitute."

Back on June 1st, Former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens signed Senate Bill 977 into law, stating:

Currently, no person advertising, offering for sale, or selling a carcass shall engage in any misleading or deceptive practice including misrepresenting the cut, grade, brand or trade name, or weight or measure of any product. This act also prohibits misrepresenting a product as meat that is not derived from harvested production livestock or poultry.

Basically, you just can't say "Hey, this is meat!" when it's actually like tofu, or black beans or even lab grown meat, which is being gradually introduced as an environmentally conscious alternative to traditional farm and ranch raised animals.

The law was heavily promoted by the Missouri Cattlemen's Association, as they cited shopper confusion, and a desire to protect local ranchers and the local meat industry as a reason for the legislation.

As a person who enjoys meat based meals, and as a person who works in advertising, I'm quite OK with this bit of legislation. It makes sure we get what we're paying for, and also makes sure no one can blatantly lie to us about what they're trying to sell us.

Tofurkey, the company that makes the tofu turkey substitute, has filed a lawsuit against the law, alleging it's too vague in its wording. Which I can kinda see, but not really. Just don't call your nasty tofurkey meat, and you'll be all set.

Now... pass the bacon.