Tofurky won a round in its fight against Arkansas.
The Hood River-based company, popular for its soy-based faux meat products, sued Arkansas in July over a law that would prohibit it from using words like "veggie burger" and "tofu dog" on product packaging.
Tofurky—with legal aid from the American Civil Liberties Union, Animal Legal Defense Fund and Good Food Institute—argued that the meat labeling law infringed on its First Amendment rights.
WW wrote about the pioneering tofu company and the ranchers who are afraid of it in a September cover story. The outcome of Tofurky's lawsuit could help decide the fate of nearly every vegan food company in rural economies that depend on ranching.
On Dec. 11, a federal court blocked Arkansas from enforcing its labeling law while the court challenge proceeds.
"We are pleased that the court blocked this unconstitutional law from being enforced while our underlying lawsuit proceeds," Jaime Athos, Tofurky's CEO, said in a statement. "Plant-based foods are increasingly popular with savvy consumers who understand the health and environmental consequences of their actions and it brings us no small joy that these individuals will be able to set their everyday and holiday tables with the products of their choice. While they do, we will fight the law in court."
Brian Hauss, a staff attorney with the ACLU who argued the case, added that "legislatures that have passed or are considering similarly absurd laws in their states should take note of this ruling and correct course now."