Tofurky asks court to halt enforcement of Arkansas meat-labeling law

Arkansas News

Tofurky brand plant-based “deli slices” are sold at a Little Rock grocery store in this Monday, July 22, 2019 photo. The ACLU and other other rights organizations filed a lawsuit in federal court on Tofurky’s behalf claiming an Arkansas law that will ban the use of “meat” in the labeling of its products violates free speech rights. (AP Photo/Hannah Grabenstein)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A plant-based food producer has asked a federal court to temporarily stop Arkansas from enforcing a law that bans labeling vegetarian and vegan products as meat and advertising them as such while litigation is underway.

Hood River, Oregon-based Tofurky Co. told courts Wednesday that complying with the law would have a “severe detrimental impact” because of the cost to change marketing and packaging.

It’s not clear if the law has been enforced since taking effect three weeks ago. The law’s authors say it’s designed to protect consumers.

Tofurky claims the lawsuit restricts commercial speech protected by the First Amendment.

A spokeswoman says Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is reviewing the motion to determine next steps.

The American Civil Liberties Union first filed a lawsuit on Tofurky’s behalf challenging the law in July. Similar lawsuits have been filed in Missouri and Mississippi.

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