Ban on the name “vegetable steak”: associations denounce “conservative position”

Say goodbye to your favorite vegetable steaks, sausages and chunks of bacon. From October 1, 2022, plant-based meat substitutes may no longer bear the names commonly attributed to meat products… official newspaper Thursday 30 June ratifies a decision that has been brewing for a long time. If the animal sector is happy, the plant-food associations and consumers will regret a decision pushed by the meat lobbies. Overview of their reactions.

Photo: Shutterstock

Animal kingdom vs plant kingdom

“It will not be possible to use terminology specific to the sectors traditionally associated with meat and fish to designate non-animal products.”indicates the text published on Thursday in the official newspaper† The Decree will enter into force on 1 October 2022. The “manufactured or labeled foodstuffs” before this date can be put on the market until 31 December 2023 at the latest, AFP indicates.

On the other hand, the decision does not concern products “lawfully manufactured or marketed in another Member State of the European Union or in Turkey”, nor the so-called laboratory meat. In short, multiple names can be used for the same product sold in the vegetarian section. We have seen better in terms of readability of information for consumers…

Jean-François Guihard, president of Interbev, the interprofessional association for livestock and meat, was questioned by the French news agency (AFP) and unsurprisingly welcomed this news, referring to “an essential step towards the transparency of consumer information and the preservation of our products and know-how”

“Conservative point of view”

For its part, the National Observatory for Plant Nutrition (ONAV) regrets that the decree “places France in a conservative position, against current issues and European policy on these issues”† On his site and on Twitter, the Onav drives the point home by denouncing a decree that falls “in a logic to protect the economic interests of the meat industry.”

Worse, contrary to climate concerns, this decision “The risk of hampering and delaying the development of the vegetable sector in France, as well as the transition to healthier and more sustainable vegetable food.”

Concerns shared by the Animalist Party, the ecologist-mayor of Grenoble, Éric Piolle or the Vegan Impact association concerned about the intent “from the meat sectors hoping to push this very conservative text to the European Parliament.” Their aim, to obtain a general ban at Union level, as is already the case for “vegetable milk”.

Also on Twitter, internet users have not failed to denounce the decree, ironically arguing that the name “vegetable steak” would be misleading…

The real question now is to know how to designate steaks, bacon and other vegetable sausages… Any ideas?

Leave a Comment