Fact Check: Oregon Measure Would NOT Ban Animal Meat, NOT Mandate 'Petri Dish' Meat -- But Beef Would Have To Die Of Old Age

Fact Check

  • by: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: Oregon Measure Would NOT Ban Animal Meat, NOT Mandate 'Petri Dish' Meat -- But Beef Would Have To Die Of Old Age Meat Safe

Would a ballot initiative proposed in Oregon ban all animal meat and replace it with "'synthetic meat'" and "lab 'plant based protein'" that are "lab grown Petri dish vats of cells"? No, that's not true: Animal meat alternatives -- which are plant-based, not cell-based -- would not replace animal meat if Oregon voters adopted Initiative Petition 13. The proposed IP13 is a ballot initiative up for vote in 2022, not 2021, and the initiative does not contain any mandates for animal meat alternatives.

The claim appeared in a Facebook post (archived here) on October 1, 2021. It featured images of animal meat alternatives in a grocery store with a caption that reads:

This is photos I took at local grocery store and is all Bill Gates funded "synthetic meat" & lab "plant based protein" that is on the Oregon ballot to legally replace all real meat. This is not vegan or vegetarian made from vegis. This is lab grown Petri dish vats of cells that are being multiplied amd sold to totally replace real animal meat by Feb 2022 if the ballot passes it in Nov in Oregon making all real animal meat consumption, farming, ranching, fishing or hunting illegal if you kill the animal to feed your family or run a buisness based on it. Wake up people! It will literally be a murder charge and also will close down most of our entire state industries and food sources. You have two months to educate yourself on these brands and the upcoming legislation. The photos are our local Fred Meyers which has already 4' section of it I bet most people have already bought and are already. Also, the Impossibke Burger from Burger King is same. It's NOT a vegi burger!!!

Although the post makes several claims, this fact check will only address the statements made about the content of meat alternatives and those made about the Oregon election in relation to the sale of meat and meat alternatives.

This is what the post looked like on Facebook on October 8, 2021:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Fri Oct 8 21:52:39 2021 UTC)

The meat alternatives pictured -- such as the Impossible Burger patties and Beyond Sausage -- are plant-based. Cell-based meat, also known as cultured meat, replicates cells from animals to create meat. At the time of writing, such meat has only been approved in Singapore.

The formal name for ballot measure IP13 is the Abuse, Neglect, and Assault Exemption Modification and Improvement Act. The introduction of the proposed state statute reads in part:

The People of Oregon therefore propose the Abuse, Neglect, and Assault Exemption Modification and Improvement Act to amend Chapter 167 of the Oregon Revised Statutes--which currently provide unnecessary exemptions to laws governing animal abuse, animal neglect, and animal sexual assault--in order to reduce the suffering of animals and improve their quality of life.

IP13 makes no mention of meat alternatives.

According to the "About" (archived here) page for IP13:

To provide some clarity, IP13 would not ban the sale of meat, leather, or fur, nor would it ban the import of meat, leather, or fur. The changes in statute proposed by IP13 are exclusively focused on protecting animals in Oregon from intentional injury, withholding of care, and sexual contact. After an animal dies of natural causes, such as old age, IP13 would not prohibit someone in Oregon from processing their body into meat, leather, or fur for use or consumption.

The page also explains the ballot initiative's position on trapping, hunting and fishing, quoted in part below:

If passed, IP13 would remove the exemption for hunting, fishing, and trapping from our cruelty laws, meaning that any practice that involves the intentional injury of an animal would be criminalized. Although the practice of seeking, pursuing, and in some cases even capturing an animal would still be legally protected, the practice of killing animals would no longer be protected.

As for the question of raising cattle for meat consumption, the page clarified:

Yes, IP13 does not ban any industry outright and the proposed changes in statute would not prohibit a rancher from raising and caring for bovines. It would only require that the rancher did not abuse, neglect, or sexually assault the animals under their care. This means that animals being raised for their meat would have to be processed after they died of natural causes, such as old age. This would certainly increase the cost to raise animals, since many are currently killed at a small fraction of their natural lifespan. Nevertheless, ranchers can still raise animals if they feel it best meets their needs. If, however, they feel it would better meet their needs for economic security to transition to an alternative agricultural practice, there are programs that can provide financial support to making a transition from farming animals to raising crops.

IP13 was filed as a ballot measure for Oregon's 2022 general election (see "Potential measures" under number 13), which will take place on November 8, 2022.

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  Lead Stories Staff

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