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The other day, I went into a restaurant and bought a burger with a plant-based burger patty. I tasted one many years before and it was horrible, so I thought I'd see how far they've come now.

Yes, it still did not taste as good as real meat ... but it did taste good. It was a burger. If you weren't specifically told it wasn't meat, you might not even notice. I'd eat it again, and I'd most certainly use it as a substitute for meat products going forward for various health, ethical and environmental reasons.

In 2019 are any politicians or political groups pushing for growing research into and consumption of such plant-based products?

Which politicians have argued for the use of such products and encouraged investing in further research and improvement?

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    Welcome to Politics SE! This appears to be a question designed to promote vegan food, or at least a type of vegan food, which makes it off-topic for this site. Please take the tour and read the help center to learn what questions are on-topic here, and if you can edit your question to make it on-topic, then please do so. – Joe C Aug 1 '19 at 22:08
  • Closers: the style of the query may be promotional, but the underlying question is not. – agc Aug 1 '19 at 23:37
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    @agc - Closing doesn't have to be permanent. If the question can readily be edited to fit the site guidelines, then that's what should happen. – Obie 2.0 Aug 2 '19 at 0:01
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    This is not a well bounded question. Even if we edited the opinion out of the question, we'd be left with "Can you list politicians who are promoting vegan products?" And that's an ever growing list. New politicians become notable every election. So we could edit to fix the current close reason, but we'd be left with a Too Broad question. It would be easier to go the other way and ask "How much effect would switching to the new vegan meat substitutes have?" But this question already has an answer that would be invalidated. – Brythan Aug 2 '19 at 0:39
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    @Brythan if we closed questions based on what might change at the next election, we'd have to close the site. – Jontia Aug 2 '19 at 8:00
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New Jersey Senator Cory Booker is opposed to legislative attempts to limit vegetarian substitutes for meat or dairy:

I think that corporate power shouldn’t be snuffing out competition. This why I’ve been standing up. And we shouldn’t be trying to hurt industries—whether it’s the almond milk industry, dairy industry, or Veganaise or Just Mayo which has literally been under attack by the egg industry because they don’t like the competition. They shouldn’t undermine that.

City & State New York provides a 2019 list of vegetarian politicians consisting of three State Senators, three Assemblymen, Five City Councilpersons, and a Borough President, some of whom extend their preference to political advocacy.

Related question: Are there any famous world leaders (politics, religion) who are vegan/vegetarian?

Note that the wider political battle for labeling has been going on since Grover Cleveland signed the Oleomargarine Act of 1886. Not entirely without dissenting voices however:

Those in Congress who opposed the tax tried to stop the bill through so-called “killer” amendments. With tongue in cheek, Representative John Adams of New York offered an amendment to tax chicken incubators “in order that the great American hen may be properly protected.” Representative George Tillman of South Carolina was among margarine’s few defenders on the House Floor, and got a good laugh when he said that margarine, “when it is honestly made out of good materials,” was actually better than butter.

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    I might mention that Booker is also a presidential candidate, so his profile is a bit higher than that of the average senator. – Obie 2.0 Aug 2 '19 at 0:03
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    @Obie2.0, Believe or not, I tried to type that fact in on the first draft, but it got wordy, (i.e. how to intro Booker succinctly?), and seemed as likely to invite comments about 2019's crowded Democractic presidential primary. – agc Aug 2 '19 at 0:08
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    WRT Booker, not wanting limits on such things is far removed from pushing for them. I'd think anyone even halfway supportive of free market economics would be opposed to limiting them. If people want to eat such things, it's their business, not the government's. – jamesqf Aug 2 '19 at 3:56
  • @jamesqf - He's vegan. It's not just about free markets with him. I'd hazard a guess he's trying to promote them. – Obie 2.0 Aug 2 '19 at 6:48
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From an organised lobbying point of view, there do not appear to be any active "Vegan Lobby" organisations promoting plant based alternatives to meat in the US.

This New Republic Article lists the number of formal lobbyist for the meat and dairy industries, but says there are no equivalents for the The Vegan Trade Council.

A lobby, by definition, is a group of people (lobbyists) who are paid to persuade lawmakers to enact policy on behalf of an interest group. These lobbyists are often paid by trade associations which, in the food industry, include the International Dairy Foods Association, the North American Meat Institute, the National Pork Producers Coalition, and the National Chicken Council. Thus, there are currently 52 people registered to lobby on behalf of the dairy industry; 24 people on behalf of the poultry and egg industry; 34 people for meat products and processing; and 54 people for livestock.

The Vegan Trade Council, by contrast, has no lobbyists.

This is something that might change as the economic value of the sector is growing quickly.

From 2016 to 2017, plant-based food accounted for $3.1 billion in sales, an 8.1 percent increase from the previous year. The fastest-growing sector was plant-based dairy alternatives, which grew at a 20 percent rate.

But it will have to complete strongly against entrenched interests in the US and the EU. Soya Milk to Soya Drink

Council Regulation 1234/2007 clearly specifies that "the term milk shall mean exclusively the normal mammary secretions obtained from one or more milkings without either addition thereto or extraction therefrom". The same regulation also limits the use of other popular designations, such as cream, cheese and yoghurt for products derived from mammary milk.

Veggie Burger and Sausage

MEPs on the European parliament’s agriculture committee voted overwhelmingly to include the name ban in a package of food labelling regulations earlier this year, arguing that consumers are confused by the use of meaty names for non-meat products on packaging.

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  • They're mistaken, or at least using the word in a highly innovative manner. Lobbyists don't have to be full-time or even paid. And lobbying is something that anyone can do, including unpaid volunteer citizens. We've all heard the phrase "lobby your MP", "lobby your representative." Even some vegan websites describe it as such. web.archive.org/web/20150330111459/https://latestvegannews.com/… – Obie 2.0 Aug 2 '19 at 20:56
  • Please clarify whether such naming bans prohibit workaround negative names, like say "I Can't Believe It's Not Burger!", (as with various margarine names.) – agc Aug 2 '19 at 22:13

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