A petition created by global food awareness organization ProVeg International is challenging the European Parliament’s proposal to ban the use of certain terms on vegetarian and vegan products. Next week, the European Parliament will vote on two proposals, known as amendments 165 and 171. Amendment 165 seeks to restrict plant-based products from using terms that are traditionally associated with animal-derived meat products. If passed into law, this could see veggie burgers renamed as “veggie discs” and veggie sausages as “veggie tubes.” Amendment 171 seeks to extend existing restrictions on dairy-related terms. Terms such as “almond milk” and “vegan cheese” are already banned on products in the European Union (EU), but 171 would further restrict dairy alternatives from using descriptive terms such as “yogurt style” and “cheese alternative.” 

“There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that consumers are confused or misled by the current labeling of vegetarian and vegan products. On the contrary, there is strong evidence to suggest that renaming them would create confusion among millions of vegetarians and meat-reducers,” Michael Webermann, US Executive Director of ProVeg International, said. “Plant-based meat alternatives have been on the market for at least a century. They have long been marketed as veggie sausages and veggie burgers, and this has never been a problem. It is only now that these products have made their way into mainstream supermarkets and are expanding their sales footprints across the EU that stakeholders from traditional animal-based industries are calling for a legal ban.”

The petition to stop the ban now exceeds 170,000 signatures. 

Photo Credit: Moving Mountains Foods