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EU’s Proposal to Ban Meaty Names Was Up for Debate; Proposal Was Opposed

by | June 20, 2019

The House of Lords had had a roundtable discussion, this Wednesday, with the experts on the proposed ban of meaty names by the European Union. The upper house of the Parliament asked the experts if the proposed ban on meat-based names for vegan/ vegetarian products like ‘sausage’ and ‘burger’ is in the interest of the consumers. What was the outcome? Know more here.

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EU’s Proposed Ban on Meaty Names Was Up for Parliamentary Debate, Last Wednesday

The roundtable discussion held by the EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee reportedly included stakeholders like The Vegan Society to assess the impacts of proposals on the food industry, retailers and consumers. The roundtable debate comes after earlier this year the European Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development reportedly agreeably sought to put restrictions on the use of conventional meaty names to denote the vegan or vegetarian versions. Entailing- such names would be reserved for meat-based (animal-meat) products only, according to a press release.

The committee heard from a number of influential voices from the food industry. Laura Sears and chef Jackie Kearney from the Vegetarian Society, Geoff Bryant from the successful plant-based meat-alternative maker- Quorn Foods, and Ruth Edge from the National Farmers’ Union, were reportedly among the voices on the debate.

Speaking about the discussion, Chair of the Sub-Committee- Lord Teverson said in a press release prior the debate, that as more people are drawn to eating plant-based, the matter of how the vegan and veggie foods are to be identified is “increasingly relevant.”

Campaigns and Policy Officer at The Vegan Society, Mark Banahan, who gave evidence on the issue said in the press release prior to the debate, that EU’s proposal to banning terminologies has “little to do with consumer protection” and that the same is “motivated by economic concerns of the meat industry.” He stated policymakers should not undermine them with “ill-thought-out regulations.”

Among the multidirectional arguments surrounding the use of meaty names for non-meat foods, farmers across Europe have argued that the same ‘mislead customers’ regarding the food’s nature they’re purchasing, according to the press release by The Vegan Society. Whereas others are to the opinion that the proposal (to ban) might have “a disproportionate impact on vegans, public authorities and small businesses.”

After the Discussion; “We Totally Oppose”

The discussion was held on Wednesday, June 19th on ‘amendment 41.’ Speaking at the debate, Mark Banahan from the Vegan Society argued that terms like ‘veggie burger’ and ‘veggie sausage’ have been used for decades and now a ban on them “would actually create confusion rather than alleviate it,” he stated, the Independent reports.

Technical and engineering director of Quorn Foods, Geoff Bryant added to the Vegan Society’s conviction saying “We totally oppose the proposal, we think it’s absolutely unnecessary.” He added that in his 30-year career, never had they ever face any opposition from a person complaining about being misled.

According to the news outlet Independent, a survey by the Vegetarian Society, done on 1,225 people had 70% of participants standing against the proposal. They reportedly cited that foods named after shapes (like ‘veggie disc’ for a plant-based burger or ‘veggie tube’ for a vegan sausage) would “lead to more confused shoppers.”

The Independent writes that some MEPs have earlier stated that they believe the proposal to ban came from a push from the European meat lobby since they’re “keen to protect their own profit” and “crush a trend towards veganism and vegetarianism among young people.”

The world’s oldest vegan society, the creator of the term ‘vegan,’ The Vegan Society had already earlier warned the EU that the proposal would incur “excessive administrative burdens” on public entitles, among other unwanted outcomes, according to the press release. Watch the live discussion here. The proposal is due to be voted by the parliament’s MEPs, this Autumn, 2019.

What are your thoughts about the proposed ban on meaty names? Let me know in comments.

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Debayan Paul

Digital Writer | West Bengal, India | [email protected]

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