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October 16, 2020 - The Guardian

Battle over EU ban on ‘veggie burger' label reaches key vote

Battle over EU ban on ‘veggie burger' label reaches key vote
Veggie burger, plant-based proteinCredit: The Fry Family Food Company

Farmers and meat lobbyists accuse plant-based food producers of ‘cultural hijacking’.

The terms “veggie burger” and “veggie sausage” could be banned under proposals being voted on by the European parliament next week. Also banned would be terms such as “yoghurt-style” and “cheese-like” for plant-based alternatives to dairy products.

Sales of these products are growing fast but farming and meat lobbyists say the terms mislead people and amount to a “cultural hijacking” of the meat industry. Opponents, backed by major food companies including Unilever and Nestle, say the claims of consumer confusion are ridiculous. They say a ban would also contradict the EU’s drive to help consumers choose more sustainable food and cut climate-heating emissions.

The meat lobby’s proposal states: “Names currently used for meat products shall be reserved exclusively for products containing meat [including] steak, sausage, escalope and burger.” A similar ban would apply to plant-based chicken products.

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