Democrats are confused, as always…

The thirteenth week of the legislative session is nearing the end. We’re working on finishing the 2024 Legislative Session, so we continue to debate many bills that better Iowa. This newsletter covers a recent bill that the Iowa House passed that received major pushback from our liberal colleagues due to false ideas and fact-deprived opinions.

Meat & Egg Integrity Measure

On Wednesday, April 3, the Iowa House passed Senate File 2391 by a 60-34 vote. The measure aims to provide accurate protein labeling definitions, so Iowans know what they are putting on their plates and into their bodies when they purchase the ever-proliferating array of protein food sources. Many of the new products are not historical or typical food stuffs and are now being designed and produced through laboratory activities. If meat comes from the farm or from the lab, Iowans should know.

The goals of the bill are to:

· Define meat products, cultivated-protein, insect-protein, and plant-protein products

· Create fair labeling standards

· Ensure transparency in the marketplace for consumers

The bill additionally seeks to:

· Proscribe how lab-grown proteins are purchased through federal SNAP and WIC programs

· Curtail schools (K-12) from purchasing lab-grown protein for school breakfast/lunches

· Restrict Regent Institutions and community colleges from purchasing lab-grown protein

The bill was amended by House Floor action to create similar provisions to protect the integrity of egg products and the branding of egg products and the accuracy of egg marketing terms.

The bill would be administered under the purview of the state Department of Inspections, Appeals, and Licensing (DIAL). The measure provides explicit, limited regulatory definitions such as egg, egg products, fabricated egg products, insect protein food protein, manufactured protein food product, meat processing, meat product, plant protein food product.

SF 2391 specifies that inspection of a food processor for misbranded protein food products will not be a part of routine inspection but as a result of a credible claim. The measure specifies that a food product is misbranded as ‘meat’ if it is labeled as mean and offered for sale while containing manufactured protein food products unless the label contains a conspicuous and prominent qualifying term in close proximity to an identifying meat term and provides that the sale of misbranded meat is prohibited in Iowa. The legislation gives DIAL enforcement authority to issue stop orders preventing sale of misbranded meat products and can assess civil penalties for misbranding meat products of not more than $500 for a violation or a cumulative less than $10,000 for an ongoing violation.

As you can see, Iowa House Republicans are working hard to ensure that we pass bills to benefit Iowa. We will continue debating more bills that improve our state next week.

Rep. Meggers’ district, Iowa House District 54, includes all of Grundy and Hardin counties and several rural townships on the far western edge of Black Hawk County. He can be reached via email: joshua.meggers@legis.iowa.gov.