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Thursday, May 16, 2024

Governor signs ‘meat integrity’ law, extends livestock-related tax break

Governor signs ‘meat integrity’ law, extends livestock-related tax break

Governor Kim Reynolds has signed legislation that creates new labeling requirements for meat and egg alternatives.

“If it comes from a plant, an insect or a petri dish, consumers deserve to know,” Reynolds said this afternoon.

Starting July 1, any plant-based, lab grown or insect-based protein product sold in Iowa stores will have to be clearly labeled as something other than meat or eggs.

“It’s about the common sense idea that a product that’s labeled chicken, beef, pork and so on should maybe actually come from — get this — an animal,” Reynolds said. “That’s kind of what we’re up against sometimes, right?”

Reynolds signed the bill before a large crowd gathered on a farm near Ladora where hogs and cattle are raised. Senator Dawn Driscoll, a Republican from Williamsburg who raises cattle, calls it a “meat integrity” law.

“Consumers deserve the truthful labelling on products,” Driscoll said, “and our children deserve better than lab-grown protein.”

The law directs state officials to seek a waiver to prevent Iowans from using federal food assistance to buy imitation egg products. It also prohibits school districts, community colleges and the three state universities from buying lab-grown meat and any misbranded protein.

Representative Heather Hora, a Republican from Washington who’s a pork producer, also spoke at the bill signing ceremony.  “This bill protects the millions of farmers’ check off dollars invested in marketing meat and eggs throughout the world,” Hora said. “Iowa’s farm families work hard every day to bring nutritious red meat to the market. Lab-grown products are not the same as high quality pork or beef or other meats raised by Iowa farm families and consumers deserve truthful, transparent labeling on products.”

Reynolds signed a second bill into law during her farm stop. It extends a capital gains tax break on state income taxes for the sale of bulls, boars, rams and other livestock used for breeding, “Farm families will save nearly $18 million by 2030,” Reynolds told the crowd.

Only Iowans who own livestock and get at least half of their annual income from farming will be able to claim the tax break.

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