Maryland’s Bill 188


Alle Aruta

The meat section in the Urbana Giant.

Alle Aruta, Writer

The state of Maryland is attempting to pass a bill that outlaws the mislabeling of alternative meat sources in mass production. This will impact foods made of culturally grown animal tissue outside of the original animal, also known as cell-grown meat, as well as plant and insect products. The bill is sponsored by Senator Jason Gallion, R-Harford and Cecil, who calls it “truth-in-advertising.”


Many believe this bill is not important, or would not affect the average Maryland citizen, because cell cultured meat is not yet available in supermarkets. According to Cathy Cochran, spokesperson for the Alliance for Meat, Poultry and Seafood Innovation, one of the five companies pushing the cell-grown meat substitute. 


“No, it should be passed everywhere,” states Oakdale senior, Brianna Kidwell, on the topic.


“No action could have a lot of negative impacts. People could have allergies or a serious health issue, and mislabeling could lead to those people being harmed.”


Carol Aruta, mother-of-author, also expresses concerns. “Yes, I think this bill should be passed. Absolutely.  People have the right to know what they are consuming.” 


She believes that people have a right to know what they are eating, not just for health issues but also by choice. Ms. Aruta is a former 20 year vegetarian and the mislabeling of alternative meat sources could have severely limited the food choice in her diet.


This form of meat is highly supported by the Democratic Party because it is the new, green source of meat. This bill is supported by Republicans in the Maryland General Assembly to bring truth to the labeling world. 


Sen. Jason Gallion supports his sponsor by stating, “Laboratory-grown meat will become more prevalent in the future, and this bill will proactively prevent these ‘franken-meat’ alternatives from being labeled as meat.”


Kidwell says that Maryland has waited to pass this bill because “the government is trying to make as much money as possible, and mislabeling things could possibly save money.” 


After being asked about what impact this bill would have on different states if it were passed in all 50, she said “Well, I don’t know much about the topic but I’d say the midwest, since a lot of the meat industry is based in those states, but in reality it affects the whole country.”


Neither Brianna Kidwell nor Carol Aruta have experienced any mislabeling in their lives from what they believe, but they understand that they could have been deceived, along with millions of others.