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.