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Oregon-based Tofurky sues Arkansas over meat-labeling law

Tofurky, which is based in Hood River, claims a law that bans the use of "meat" in plant-based food labels violates free speech rights.
Credit: Rollins, Michael
Hood River, Oregon's Tofurky Inc. has filed suit against the state of Arkansas over a new law in that state that defines meat terminology.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A meat-alternative food company has filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming an Arkansas law that bans the use of "meat" in labeling plant-based foods violates free speech rights.

Oregon-based Tofurky Co. filed the lawsuit Monday against Arkansas' Bureau of Standards. Tofurky produces a variety of tofu, quinoa and other plant-based "sausages," deli slices and burgers.

The Arkansas law's stated goal is to "require truth in labeling." It also bans companies from labeling other vegetables, such as cauliflower, as "rice." Arkansas is the nation's top rice producer.

Tofurky filed a lawsuit in 2018 against a Missouri meat-labeling law. This month, Illinois-based Upton's Naturals Co. challenged a Mississippi law.

RELATED: Oregon-based Tofurky sues to stop Missouri law over meat terminology

Arkansas' law is set to take effect Wednesday. It would fine companies up to $1,000 for each violation.