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EU proposal to ban ‘veggie burger’ name for vegan products fails

26 Oct 2020
The European Parliament has rejected a proposal to ban the use of words ‘sausage’ and ‘burger’ to describe vegan and vegetarian products with 379 votes against, 284 for and 27 abstentions.

ProVeg launched a petition that was signed by over 273,000 people to challenge the EU ban. The main argument behind the proposed ban was to avoid customer confusion.

MEPs did vote in favour to ban any indirect reference to dairy products for plant-based foods, meaning descriptions including ‘yoghurt-style’ or ‘cream imitation’ will not be allowed.

Louise Davies, head of policy at The Vegan Society, said: “Plant-based products are already banned from using terms like ‘milk’ or ‘butter’ – despite there being not a single piece of evidence to suggest consumers are confused by these denominations.  

“Adding in a further restriction to stop terms that liken plant-based foods to dairy, such as ‘alternative’ or ‘style’, is going to stop manufacturers from accurately describing their products and mean that consumers actively seeking to reduce their environmental impact and shop more ethically will be poorly informed. 

“We are perplexed by this decision by MEPs who should be doing all they can to support the consumption of plant-based products to address the growing climate crisis, which is largely caused by animal agriculture.”

The plant-based sector will be forced to create new words to describe products including vegan cheese or vegan cream, despite these foods being created with the sole intention to imitate their dairy counterparts.