The European Parliament’s proposal to ban the use of names such as ‘burger’ and ‘sausage’ from being used to describe vegetarian and vegan products is being challenged across Europe, with food awareness organisation ProVeg International driving the campaign.
The agricultural committee of the European Parliament voted in favour of the proposal on grounds that the names were misleading for consumers. If the proposal is passed into law, then vegan and veggie burgers could instead be named ‘discs’ and sausages ‘tubes’.
ProVeg International has launched a campaign targeting the proposed ban with a petition calling on the soon-to-be-elected European Parliament to reject the proposal, which it describes as “unnecessary” and “irrational”.
So far, the petition has reached over 13,000 signatures.
Spokesperson for ProVeg UK, Philip Mansbridge, said: “There is no evidence to suggest that consumers are confused or misled by the current labelling of vegetarian and vegan products. To suggest that consumers do not understand the meaning of the term ‘veggie burger’ and other similar terms is an insult to their intelligence.
“The use of ‘burger’, ‘sausage’, and ‘milk’ wording on plant-based products actually serves an important function in communicating characteristics that consumers are looking for when buying plant-based products, especially in terms of taste and texture. They’ve been used successfully for decades. Why confuse matters?”
He added: “The proposed restriction would also unnecessarily restrict manufacturers, producers, and the positive social and environmental changes created by the plant-based market, one of the fastest-growing and most innovative sectors in the food industry today.”