“Plant-based” meat sounds like it’d be healthy, but these products are full of industrial ingredients. Now the legal sharks are circling.
A California consumer has filed a lawsuit against Kellogg, owner of MorningStar Farms, which produces “veggie burgers,” “veggie dogs,” and other products with “veggie” in the label. The lawsuit, which is seeking class action status, claims that the representation of “veggie” is false or misleading because there are hardly any vegetables in these fake meat products at all.
“[T]he predominant non-water ingredient in all of the Veggie Products is not vegetables—or even vegetable-based—but instead, grain or oil,” the suit alleges.
“Contrary to their name and marketing, however—and discounting water—the Veggie Products are primarily made from grain or oil. For example, the first three ingredients in Kellogg’s MorningStar Farms’ ‘VEGGIE DOGS’ are ‘Water, wheat gluten, [and] corn syrup solids’; 2 the product ‘Contains 2% or less of’ various other ingredients, only some of which are vegetable-based (like ‘hydrolyzed vegetable protein’),” the lawsuit continues.
Plant-based meat isn’t meat and it isn’t really plant-based. Certainly, not in the way a salad is. Along with this litigation challenging “veggie” labels, some states have sought to crack down on the use of terms like “meat” or “dairy” on labels for imitation products.
Plenty of people may already understand that the fake stuff isn’t real meat or dairy. The false health halo around these products will be harder to dispel.