• Tofurky Wins Historic Louisiana Court Case in Fight Against Plant-Based Censorship



    Tofurky, one of the leading plant-based brands in the US, has won a major lawsuit victory for vegan meat producers, as a federal judge ruled against a controversial labeling law. The judge ruled the Louisiana law unconstitutional after it stopped plant-based producers like Tofurky from using terms like “burger” or “sausage”.

    “The Louisiana court has seen right through this disingenuous law, and protected the 1st amendment rights of companies like Tofurky”

    Facing fines of $500 per day for using such terms on its plant-based meat products, even when featuring qualifiers such as “vegan”, “plant-based”, or “meatless”, Turtle Island Foods, – the owner of Tofurky – had brought a lawsuit against state regulators in 2020, preemptively challenging the new state statute. The US District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana ruled on a motion for summary judgment on the lawsuit, halting enforcement of the law.

    The victory for plant-based producers is an important one, as the censorship law was lobbied for by the meat industry in an attempt to stymie the growth of the alt proteins sector under the guise of “protecting” consumers. With legal representation from the Animal Legal Defense Fund and The Good Food Institute, the Tofurky lawsuit proved that plant-based censorship would in fact lead to more consumer confusion and not vice versa. 

    Plant-Based Censorship

    The legal battle is just the latest attempt around the world by meat and dairy interests to influence labeling laws and disadvantage alt protein producers. 2021 saw EU leaders drop plans to impose further restrictions on plant-based dairy products, while in Australia the meat lobby has asked the Senate to ban words like ‘chicken’ and ‘beef’, leading to an inquiry. Incidentally, a recent study found 96% of Australians have never been confused by alt-meat labeling. 

    “The Louisiana court has seen right through this disingenuous law, and protected the 1st amendment rights of companies like Tofurky and Louisianans for access to the healthier, more sustainable foods of their choosing,” stated Tofurky CEO, Jaime Athos.

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