Beyond Burger

© Beyond Meat

US Judicial Panel Consolidates Five Beyond Meat Lawsuits Centred on False Advertising

The US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has agreed to consolidate five false advertising lawsuits brought against Beyond Meat, at the request of the company. Plaintiffs include Don Lee Farms, a manufacturer of both plant-based and conventional meat that was formerly the exclusive supplier of Beyond Meat products. Three Beyond customers have also brought a civil class-action lawsuit against the company. The complaints all centre on the alleged misrepresentation of the amount of protein found in Beyond products. Don Lee Farms claims to have had the meat alternatives tested by an independent laboratory, which said the protein content was around 30% lower than stated on the packaging. The company also accuses Beyond of falsely claiming its products are free from synthetic ingredients, when in fact …

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tall grass with flowers

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GFI Europe: Alt Proteins Could Halt Biodiversity Loss in the UK & Globally

The international nonprofit the Good Food Institute Europe says alternative proteins could help achieve the objectives of the UK’s Environmental Improvement Plan 2023. Recently published by the UK government, the document provides a comprehensive delivery plan for the government’s approach to “halting and then reversing the decline in nature.” A decline in nature? According to scientists, humanity is facing a rapid biodiversity loss that has become a crisis, with a global rate of species extinction tens to hundreds of times higher than the average over the past 10 million years. At the UN Nature Summit COP15 in December 2022, nations, including the UK, adopted an ambitious new global agreement to protect biodiversity (similar to the Paris agreement), to conserve and manage at least 30 percent of the …

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Gen V mural

Shoreditch mural, ©GenV

GenV Accuses Rishi Sunak of Stonewalling as He Refuses Vegan Challenge

After challenging British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to go vegan for a month in exchange for a £1 million charity donation, international organisation Generation Vegan (GenV) has finally received a response. Penned by government representative MP Mark Spencer (who also happens to be a beef, lamb, and egg farmer), the letter states that the government is already taking all necessary steps “to ensure greater environmental sustainability” and “towards achieving our 25 Year Environment Plan ambitions and our carbon net zero goals”. The implication is that Sunak will not accept the challenge. The offer expires today, and GenV has joined forces with supporters such as nutritionist Dr. Gemma Newman to film a video making a final plea to the Prime Minster. The clip emphasises the benefits …

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Kerry McCarthy Labour MP for Bristol East

Image: kerrymccarthy.org

UK MP Kerry McCarthy Condemns Proposed Alt Dairy Labelling Restrictions

A British Member of Parliament has spoken out against proposed restrictions on the terms that can be used to market alt dairy products in the UK. Kerry McCarthy described the proposals, which would ban the use of phrases such as “alternative to milk” on product packaging, as “ludicrous”. Terms similar to those used for dairy products, such as “mylk” and “cheeze”, would also be forbidden if the guidance is approved by Defra (The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs). “I do not think that anyone buying a hot dog actually thinks that it has canine content. Does the Minister think that the British public is so stupid to think that a product called “oat milk” comes from a cow?” McCarthy asked Dr. Thérèse Coffey, …

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OmniPork boiled dumplings by BaFang YunJi, biggest QSR in Taiwan

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Taiwan Passes Climate Bill Mandating the Promotion of Plant-Based Foods

Taiwan has approved a groundbreaking climate bill requiring its government to promote low-carbon diets. The legislation, which passed its third reading on January 10, specifically references plant-based foods. Article 8 of the bill says that the Council of Agriculture must promote waste reduction and low-carbon diets, with the latter category including plant-based and locally-produced foods. Article 42 adds that all levels of government should promote these foods, and mandates support for civil society organisations working towards low-carbon diets. The legislation makes Taiwan one of only a small number of regions to reference plant-based foods in their climate laws. The government’s target of net zero emissions by 2050 has also been made legally binding, with government agencies required to implement plans to reduce emissions. Addressing excessive …

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©Meat Free Monday Taiwan

Taiwan: More Than 100 Election Candidates Pledge to Support Meat-Free School Days

Taiwan’s Meat-Free Monday organization announces it recently succeeded in inviting over 100 political candidates to sign its Veg-Friendly pledge, which asked candidates to support Meat-Free Days at Taiwanese schools. Following the election results, a total of 48 veg-friendly candidates have been elected. According to Meat Free Monday Taiwan, it launched the “I’m willing to be a veg-friendly candidate” pledge as a last-minute special campaign just prior to the Nov. 26th election for local mayors and councilors. The pledge invites candidates to support and promote better access to healthy plant-based meals across the country’s schools.  Swift response Organizers say that, despite the tight schedule, the response was swift, and more than 100 candidates signed the pledge in just 5 days. Chang Yu-chuan, organizer of “Meat-Free Monday Taiwan” …

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Go Vegan RIshi Sunak campaign

© GenV

GenV and Animal Rebellion Plan Huge PR Stunt With March to Parliament & Downing Street

As part of its campaign offering UK prime minister Rishi Sunak £1 million to go vegan for a month, charity GenV is set to conduct a major media stunt in central London next week. When politicians return to Parliament on January 9, they will be greeted by five large tractors driving in loops past 10 Downing Street and through Westminster. Above the tractors, there will be inflatables shaped like a burning planet Earth, a cow, a £1M symbol, Rishi Sunak, and the GenV logo. March to Downing Street with vegan food There will also be a banner on Parliament Bridge with the message “GO VEGAN RISHI SUNAK”. The banner will be visible from all south-facing windows in Parliament. Next, over 50 volunteers from GenV and …

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a drawing of uk's pm rishi sunak for genv million dollar campaign 2023

© GenV

GenV Offers UK PM Rishi Sunak £1M to Go Vegan for One Month

The international vegan charity Generation Vegan (GenV), which rebranded from its former name of Million Dollar Vegan last August, recently launched its latest campaign offering UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak £1 million to go vegan for one month “for the sake of animals, the planet, wild places, our planet, our health, our farmers, and our future.” In a letter sent to Downing Street on Wednesday, Naomi Hallum, chief executive of Vegan Generation, wrote: “We would like to donate £1m to a charity of your choice in return for adopting a plant-based diet for a month.” London Billboards, full-page newspaper ads Billboards at Westminster Underground Station and full-page adverts in four major UK newspapers are featuring ads through the first ten days of the new year, …

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Woman buying fruit

Image: US Department of Human Health and Services

Proposed Updates to the USDA’s WIC Nutrition Program Would Add More Plant-Based Milk, Yogurt and Cheese Options

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is proposing to add more dairy-free products, including milk, cheese and yogurt, to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). Under the proposed changes through the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, millions of mothers and children would receive access to more dairy-free foods as well as increased provisions for fruits and vegetables.  WIC is an assistance program that aims to safeguard the health of low-income women and infants under the age of 5. Designed to fill in nutrition gaps, the program provides free vouchers for foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, milk, eggs and cheese. Currently, the only dairy-free alternative the program currently allows for is soymilk.  Through the proposed revisions, WIC would expand …

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ProVeg Oat Milk/ Dairy-Free Milk

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ProVeg Urges FDA to Protect Consumer Choice as Agency Considers Plant-Based “Milk” Ban

Food awareness organization ProVeg International is urging the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to refrain from issuing new guidance that could discriminate against America’s rapidly growing plant-based milk sector. The FDA has sent an unpublished guidance document, entitled “Labeling of Plant-based Milk Alternatives and Voluntary Nutrient Statements”, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). ProVeg has learned this document may include a ban on the use of “milk” terms for plant-based products out of fear that it misleads consumers.  The organization is now calling on the FDA to protect dairy-free milk products from such labeling restrictions, which it says would discourage and impede food innovation.  Congressional letter Four US Senators, including Cory Booker, Mike Lee and Julia Brownley, already issued a letter to …

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Motif Foodworks

©Motif Foodworks

Motif Foodworks’ IP Battle Intensifies as Europe Revokes Impossible Foods Patent

Food tech startup Motif Foodworks announces it has filed four new challenges to US patents held by Impossible Foods. The company’s legal move comes a week after The European Patent Office (EPO) announced it had revoked an EU patent held by Impossible Foods. The EU and US patents that Motif is challenging involve meat alternative products containing heme protein, sugars and sulfur compounds. Motif argues these ingredients are not patentable by Impossible due to their longstanding use as taste and smell enhancers for meat alternatives. The reasoning behind the EPO’s decision to revoke Impossible’s patent (No. 2,943,072 B1 – Methods and compositions for affecting the flavor and aroma profile of consumables – ‘072) has not been published, but an Impossible Foods spokesperson asserted that the …

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Welsh councillors attempt to block vegan menus

Councillor Iain McIntosh. Image: Facebook

Welsh Councillors Propose Motion to Block Fully Vegan Menus at Schools & Events

Welsh councillors in the county of Powys are set to bring forward a motion mandating that meat and dairy products be served at all council-run buildings and events. The motion is a response to the decision of Oxfordshire council — which is run by the Liberal Democrats, Labour, and the Green Party — to make the menus at all council events fully plant-based to address climate change. Schools in the county also serve exclusively plant-based food for two days per week. Since Powys County Council is also run by the Liberal Democrats and Labour, Conservative councillors Iain McIntosh and Les George say they are worried that a similar step could be taken locally. Powys is a rural county heavily dominated by animal agriculture. “This council …

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Elysabeth Cop 27

Image courtesy Elysabeth Alfano

A Call for Impact Investing in a Sustainable Food System at COP27

Last Thursday, Elysabeth Alfano, CEO of VegTech™ Invest and Plant Powered Consulting, gave a press conference titled Impact Investing for a Sustainable Food System at the COP27 summit, alongside Raphael Podselver, Director of UN Affairs for ProVeg International. An invited speaker to the Food4Climate Pavilion, Elysabeth attended the second week of the summit to discuss the role of finance and investing in helping to solve some of the world’s most pressing issues. “Public companies and markets, as well as venture start-ups and investors, must step up to the plate for action in developing more sustainable food systems, investment in existing and novel alternative proteins and Plant-based Innovation and immediate work towards supply chain transparency,” Alfano stated. A Boston Consulting Group (BCG) study carried out in …

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Maarten Bosch CEO of Mosa Meat

Maarten Bosch CEO of Mosa Meat, image supplied

Mosa Meat on Cultivated Beef as Top Discussion at COP27

Mosa Meat, the Netherlands company that famously developed the first hamburger made from cultivated beef back in 2013, is in attendance at COP27 to represent the cultivated meat sector. Maarten Bosch, CEO of Mosa Meat — which has raised over $85M to date from investors including Leonardo DiCaprio — gives his insights into the discussions at the conference and how world leaders are looking towards cultivated meat as a way to feed future generations sustainably, on a planet whose population has already surpassed 8 billion humans. Please tell us, in light of discussions at the conference in Egypt, how the climate crisis is reshaping the global food system Food systems around the world face a lot of challenges including vulnerability to supply shocks like Ukraine, …

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The UN Food and Agriculture Organization Assesses Safety and Regulations of Cultivated Meat

The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is now assessing important food safety and regulatory concerns regarding cultivated meat. The organization released several documents discussing food safety aspects of cultivated meat products, including language and terminologies, common production processes, and regulatory frameworks. Labeling and terminology The FAO points out that since cultivated meats represent an emerging commodity, the terminology used to describe its processes and products remain inconsistent. A literature review found the most common terms used by consumers and the industry are  “cell-based,” “cultivated,” and “cultured,” with some studies suggesting “cultivated” as the most appealing term.  Through its report, FAO aims to provide a basis for global policymakers to select consistent language for legislation and communication about cultivated meat. The organization also encourages …

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