Today the European Parliament voted against Amendment 165, which called for a ban on all meat replacement labels like ‘veggie burger’, claiming them to be deliberately misleading for consumers and ‘cultural hijacking’. MEP’s voted heavily against the proposal – 379 against, 284 for and 27 abstentions – however changes in labelling for dairy-alternative products weren’t met with the same common sense.
MEP’s voted in favour of Amendment 171, banning all references to dairy in alternative products. Despite almond milk being served since the 16th century, the EU Parliament have confirmed that ‘cheese-alternative’ or ‘yogurt-style’ will no longer be allowed, but haven’t offered suggestions for alternative language that can be used.
The use of terms like ‘alternative’, ‘style’ and ‘plant-based’ clearly differentiate vegan and vegetarian products from their ‘real’ counterparts, and this vote symbolises all that the meat and dairy industry have to fear about their future. They have underestimated consumers buying habits. They claim alternative labels are deceiving when so few customers understand how dairy is made, the additional content found in milk or the health problems it can cause. We will get through this labelling crisis – the meat and dairy industry won’t recover.