The proposed rules have been slammed for “unnecessarily restrict(ing) the positive environmental changes created by the plant-based market, one of the fastest-growing and most innovative sectors in the food industry today.”
An online petition to ‘Stop the Veggie Burger Ban’, which challenges the EU Parliament’s proposals to ban plant-based products from using names such as ‘burger’ and ‘sausage’, as well as descriptive terms such as ‘yoghurt-style’ and ‘cheese alternative’, has crossed 110,000 signatures.
According to some livestock industry representatives in the EU, which is set to take a final vote on the Veggie Burger Ban between 19-22 October, generalizing these terms which have been associated with long-established meat products could be confusing and mislead customers into buying meat-free alternative products.
However, global food awareness organization, ProVeg, described the EU’s intention as ‘unnecessarily restrictive’ and explained that implementing the ban could hamper ‘the positive environmental changes created by the plant-based market’.
In an effort to get more people to partake in the petition, ProVeg posted a video on social media with a caption that reads: “What seems like an April fools day joke might soon be reality.
“Between 19-22 October, the EU will vote on the Veggie Burger Ban: a law that bans terms such as ‘burger’, ‘sausage’, and ‘steak’ for plant-based products and renames products to “discs” and “tubes”.
“It also includes labelling restrictions for plant-based dairy products.”
According to the group, if this ‘irrational legislation’ is not stopped now, it would lead to serious repercussions for the plant-based sector and an insult to consumers.
The organization added: “Seriously, who is confused by the word “veggie burger”?
“Add your name to our petition now and tell the European Parliament to not accept the proposed Veggie Burger Ban!”
“There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that consumers are confused or misled by the current labelling of vegetarian and vegan products,” Jasmijn de Boo, Vice President of ProVeg International said.
“On the contrary, there is strong evidence to suggest that renaming them would create confusion. Over 100,000 people already agree with us.”
Dismissing the pro-meat sector’s argument, she explained: “Plant-based meat alternatives have been on the market for at least a century in Europe – and for far longer in other parts of the world. They have long been marketed as veggie sausages and veggie burgers, and this has never been a problem.
“It is only now that these products have made their way into mainstream supermarkets and are expanding their sales footprints across the EU that stakeholders from traditional animal-based industries are calling for a legal ban.”
She added that contrary to confusing customers, using terms ‘burger’, ‘sausage’ and ‘cheese alternative’ on meat-free and dairy-free products would actually help “serve an important function in communicating characteristics that consumers are looking for at point of purchase, especially in terms of taste and texture.”
“Just as we all know full well that there is no butter in peanut butter, no cream in coconut cream, and no meat in mincemeat, consumers know exactly what they’re getting when they purchase veggie burgers or veggie sausages,” she said.
According to De Boo: “Banning the use of these terms will prove costly for the entire food industry, with substantial consequences for manufacturers, retailers, and food-service outlets. The proposals could also unnecessarily restrict the positive environmental changes created by the plant-based market, one of the fastest-growing and most innovative sectors in the food industry today.”
You can sign the petition here.
Share this story to gather more support for opposing the ‘Veggie Burger Ban’.
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