Intended to keep plant-based materials and cell-cultured materials from being sold in Oklahoma, HB 392 passed several months ago, but ended up causing an unsurmountable hurdle for local beef ranchers.

Intended to keep plant-based materials and cell-cultured materials from being sold in Oklahoma, HB 392 passed several months ago, but ended up causing an unsurmountable hurdle for local beef ranchers.

The bill prohibits the deceptive or misleading labeling of meat products.

Oklahoma cattle ranchers William and Karen Payne soon discovered a huge issue with the bill.

Payne said within the bill it specified one cannot sell beef in Oklahoma unless it's approved by USDA.

“We do not have any approved USDA plants in the state of Oklahoma for retail sale,” he said.

We have only four plants in the USDA in the state of Oklahoma — that work with specialty beef manufacturers.

The Paynes own and operate Destiny Ranch, a cattle operation based in Saint Louis that sells its meat locally, including Shawnee and Norman.

“This particular bill put me and Karen out of business,” he said. “We sell beef that's inspected by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture — not with the USDA sticker.”

He said right after the bill was signed by Gov. Stitt, he wrote him a letter, and also took the issue to Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Secretary and Commissioner Blayne Arthur's office.

“I said your office no longer needs to be here because we no longer need to have inspectors in the state of Oklahoma because we cannot sell beef,” Payne explained.

She had never even seen the bill, he said.

“They had never even shared the bill with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture,” Payne said.

“This was brought up and highlighted with our Speaker of the House (Rep. Charles McCall-R, Atoka), and he's taken action on it,” Payne said.

On Oct. 1, the Paynes actually had to shut their business down.

“But (McCall) took action on it and shifted it, made some changes,” he said. “We all get to stay in business.”

Aside from local cattle producers, Payne said 200 Oklahoma processing plants also would have been affected by this bill.

“Whether it was intentional or just misguided statement, I have no idea,” he said. “We had to correct it.”