Just weeks after France banned the use of the word “meat” on vegan food products, the country’s top court overturned the decision under pressure from plant-based companies and consumers who fought the new law. on the labeling.
The French court determined that the ban did not give plant-based companies enough time to comply with the new restrictions. Several plant-based organizations lobbied against the decision, including ProVeg International and French Proteins – a consortium of companies aiming to promote the French vegetable sector.
The ruling is an interim order, meaning it’s unclear how courts and governments will adapt or remove labeling restrictions. PrvoVeg international welcomed the suspension, revealing that the court had expressed “serious doubts” about the legal value of the ban.
“We are delighted to learn that the French Council of State has decided to suspend the decree banning the names of herbal products,” said ProVeg vice-president Jasmijn de Boo. “Plant-based foods are part of the solution to tackling the climate crisis and any regulation should actively support their sale and marketing, not hinder them.”
The legislation sought to ban all vegetable companies in France from using meat-related terms such as “bacon” and “steak”. Owners of the new restrictions say the ban is designed to avoid “consumer confusion”, but those who oppose it believe the ban will only hurt the growing French industry and consumers.
Frances Proteins has lobbied the French High Court, saying companies affected by the ban have not been given sufficient notice to rebrand and redirect their advertising platforms. The consortium includes major brands such as Avril, Groupement Les Mousquetaries and the world’s largest food manufacturer, Nestlé.
“There are many steps involved in changing a product’s name, such as developing new names and brand universes, conducting consumer surveys and filing trademarks for protection, and producing new packaging,” Proteines France said in a statement. “By suspending the decree, the Council of State recognizes the impossibility for operators to be able to comply with it on October 1, 2022. Consequently, products containing vegetable proteins may continue to be marketed under the current names.
Ban on “meat” in France
Released on June 30, the ban immediately came under heavy criticism from plant-based brands headquartered in France. The new limitations have affected French producers exclusively, forcing companies to relocate or compete with international brands free to brand with terms related to meat. French bacon company La Vie released a statement saying the ban would force the company out of France.
“You won’t see anything crazier today,” CEO of life Nicolas Schweitzer posted on social media. “After having pushed for the reindustrialization of France, the government has just passed a decree pushing us to relocate.”
South Africa and Turkey attack the vegetable industry
France’s proposed ban closely followed a similar labeling restriction enacted in South Africa. Last June, the South African government decreed that food manufacturers could not use “meaty” names for plant-based foods. The ruling explained that companies can no longer use terms such as “vegan nuggets” or “plant-based meatballs” to describe food products. The South African government says the new regulations aim to minimize consumer confusion.
“Regulations like this are exactly what we don’t need when scientists around the world tell us we urgently need to reduce our meat consumption to help curb dangerous global warming,” said Donovan Will, National Director. of ProVeg South Africa. “Regulations lack respect for consumers. There is no evidence to show that people are confused by the meaty names of plant-based foods. In fact, evidence from Australia, Europe and the United States proves that they are not confused. We really urge the government to rescind this regulation.
In Turkey, the plant industry faces a tougher ban. The Turkish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has announced a ban on the sale and production of any vegan cheese. The new restriction will make Turkey one of the least vegan-friendly countries in the world. Vegan organizations are trying to overturn the ban, including the Vegan Association of Turkey (TVD). TVD filed a lawsuit against the government to defend the rights of herbal brands and manufacturers in Turkey.
Miyoko’s Victory Against the Dairy Industry
In the United States, the California Department of Food and Agriculture attempted to enact a similar ban on vegan dairy product labels, but pioneering vegan Miyoko Schinner sued the CDFA with the help of Animal Legal Defense. Fund and won. Schinner set a precedent for the United States, allowing herbal brands to retain their labeling rights.
Despite Schinner’s victory, the Dairy Pride Act is circulating federally. Supported by the dairy industry, the law would restrict the use of “milk” and terms associated with dairy products for the benefit of the dairy industry.
For more plant-based events, check out The Beet’s News articles.
6 Best Dairy-Free Protein Shakes
When you’ve skipped lunch to get to boot-camp class and now have to go back to the office without eating, it’s good to have a few options for refueling on the go. So we’ve tested the best plant-based shakes, each containing around 15 grams or more of plant-based protein and fewer carbs, sugars, and artificial flavors.