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[ad_1] BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Bye-bye, cauliflower rice. Farewell, veggie sausage. So long, chicken-free strips.Louisiana lawmakers have agreed to labeling restrictions that can hold veggie merchandise from being known as meat, non-rice merchandise from being described as rice and sugar options from being marketed as sugar.A 31-7 Senate vote Tuesday gave ultimate passage to the bill by Democratic Sen. Francis Thompson, chairman of the Senate agriculture committee who represents a rural northeast Louisiana district.Supporters say they're ensuring customers know what they're shopping for and defending farmers who've spent tens of millions to model their merchandise. However opponents say the change will restrict veggie product availability in Louisiana.Sen. J.P. Morrell, a New Orleans Democrat, unsuccessfully sought to derail the labeling restrictions, saying some out-of-state firms doubtless will pull their veggie meals from retailer cabinets moderately than change the labels for a small state like Louisiana."The outcome of this is there will be less products in the market because small businesses will be unable to deal with the labeling," Morrell stated.When individuals ask why they can not get a veggie product, Morrell stated, companies will level to the Legislature: "They're going to say, 'Well, you don't get that product because (lawmakers) decided for you that you should not have access to it because you're too dumb to know the difference between cauliflower rice and regular rice.'"Thompson stated the "truth in labeling" invoice protects Louisiana's massive agricultural trade. He stated six different states have enacted related provisions."Sugar is sugar, and rice is rice, and the people of Louisiana deserve to know the truth," stated invoice supporter Sen. Bret Allain, a Republican.A divided Home voted 58-29 Monday for the invoice. Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, hasn't stated whether or not he'll comply with the brand new restrictions, which might take impact in October 2020 and are backed by Louisiana's agriculture commissioner.Edwards' spokeswoman Christina Stephens stated the governor desires to assessment the ultimate language, however she added: "For the record, he likes real rice in his gumbo."Louisiana's agriculture commissioner would have enforcement authority when the regulation takes impact, with civil penalties as much as $500 per day for every violation. The penalties can be levied towards the producers that affix the labels to merchandise.The Plant Based mostly Meals Affiliation calls the restrictions pointless, saying merchandise already are clearly labeled. The California-based group describes the measure an assault on free speech rights, saying authorized analysts do not imagine such a regulation may survive a court docket problem.One other Thompson invoice focusing on soy milk, almond milk and different artificial milk options additionally awaits a choice from Edwards. That measure seeks to ban a beverage from being labeled as milk except the product comes from a cow, goat or "other hooved mammals."Supporters stated the laws goals to assist Louisiana's struggling dairy trade. The milk invoice solely permits enforcement of labeling requirements. Nonetheless, the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration makes use of such requirements nationally, so it is unclear if the necessities will ever take impact even when Edwards indicators it.———Senate Invoice 152: www.legis.la.gov———Comply with Melinda Deslatte on Twitter at http://twitter.com/melindadeslatte Copyright 2019 The Related Press. All rights reserved. This materials might not be revealed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. [ad_2] Source link