European Parliament rejects ban on calling veggie products ‘burger’

European Parliament rejects ban on calling veggie products ‘burger’
Credit: Belga

The European Parliament rejected a proposal to ban designations such as ‘burger’, ‘steak’ or ‘sausage’ for vegetarian products on Friday.

The European Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development had proposed reserving terms such as “burger” for food products containing animal meat. The designations could then no longer be used for alternatives made from vegetables or cereals.

A large majority of the European Parliament opposed the proposal in plenary on Friday.

However, a majority was in also in favour of extending the preexisting ban on presenting products without animal milk as “yoghurt”, “cheese” and “cream” to exclude the use of descriptive terms such as “yoghurt style”.

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“It’s disgraceful that the industrial farming lobby isn’t content with cornering billions in subsidies for destructive factory farming. They’re now muddying the debate on farming reform with a pointless vote on food names – it’s pathetic that the Parliament wouldn’t even stand up to the industrial agriculture lobbyists on this,” Greenpeace EU agriculture policy director Marco Contiero said in a statement.

“The votes won’t change the fact that more and more people are eating more vegetables and switching to meat and dairy alternatives, for the sake of their health and the environment, and will continue to call dairy-free products ‘yoghurt’ and ‘cheese’ anyway,” he added.

The votes took place as part of a marathon vote on the future of the common agricultural policy. The result of the final vote is expected later on Friday. Afterwards, MEPs will also have to negotiate with the agriculture ministers.

The Brussels Times

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