MP wants ban on ‘veggie steaks’ using word ‘steak’

A member of Parliament wants to ban the use of meat-related terms such as “steak”, “fillet”, “bacon” and “sausage” from vegetarian mock-meat products, calling the current labelling “misleading”.

18 April 2018
By Connexion journalist

Jean-Baptiste Moreau, an LREM MP and professional farmer, has tabled an amendment that would make it illegal to use meat-related terms on non-meat products, or those that mix some meat with other non-meat ingredients such as soy.

This would include the use of the words such as “steak” on “veggie steak” products or “sausages” on “vegetarian sausages”, which are, despite their meat-related name, usually made from vegetable or soy ingredients instead.

If successful, the change in law would apply to “all products that are not entirely, or not at all, made up of meat”.

Mr Moreau has argued that the current labelling laws cause confusion among consumers, who may - he said - believe that they are eating pure, high-quality meat instead of a meat-and-soy (or even solely soy or vegetable) product.

The use of meat-related words on non-meat products also dilutes the impact of high-quality production standards of real meat, he added.

He said: “This is simply a misleading marketing practice.

“For example, a meat and vegetable-based preparation, such as soy, which is very profitable for the producer compared to a pure beef steak, can be marketed in a way that gives the consumer the impression that they are eating meat.”

Mr Moreau’s tabled amendment comes less than a year after the European Court of Justice ruled that dairy-related terms, such as “milk”, “cream”, “chantilly” and “cheese”, are only allowed to be used on products made with real animal milk.

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