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MEPs Reject Bid To Ban Terms Such As 'Veggie Burger'

Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

5:24 PM - 23 Oct 2020



MEPs have rejected a bid to ban the use of phrases such as 'burgers' and 'sausages' for plant-based foods.

The European Parliament had been considering a proposal to ban such words for vegetarian or vegan meat alternatives.

However, a number of meat industry groups - including the Irish Farmers Association - had claimed such descriptions were confusing for consumers and the terms should be limited to meat products.

In a statement, the European Parliament said: "MEPs rejected all proposals to reserve meat-related names for products containing meat.

"Nothing will change for plant-based products and the names they currently use when being sold."

However, MEPs have backed measures which would put further restrictions on descriptions such as dairy alternatives.

The use of terms such as 'milk' or 'cheese' for vegan products are already banned, but the proposal voted on today would mean producers would also not be able to use descriptions such as 'yoghurt-style' for plant-based products.

Dr Joanna Swabe, senior director of public affairs for Humane Society International/Europe, welcomed the rejection of the ban on terms such as 'veggie burger'.

She said: “We are unsurprised but delighted that MEPs have rejected cynical attempts by a protectionist meat industry to hinder the marketing of plant-based proteins in the EU.

"Their preposterous claims that consumers would be confused by the use of names such as burgers, sausages, schnitzels and mince on clearly labelled vegetarian meat substitutes, have been rightly rejected as disproportionate nonsense."

However, she added: "We are disappointed that MEPs have conceded to the demands of the dairy industry to further ban denominations, which indirectly refer to plant-based dairy alternatives.

"Terms like ‘almond milk’ and ‘soy yogurt’ are already banned in the EU, and the amendment to this proposed legislation is disproportionate and takes this ban one unnecessary step further."

Main image: File photo. Picture © Abel Uribe/TNS via ZUMA Wire


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