The final vote will take place during the week of 19 October when MEPs will vote on amendments 165 and 171, which aim to restrict the names of plant products to those normally associated with meat products. You can participate in the ProVeg petition to stop the motion here.
These amendments are supposed to ‘prevent confusion’ among consumers, but Cristina Rodrigo, Director of ProVeg Spain, says the reality is different: “There is evidence that consumers are not confused by the current labelling of plant products. However, the EU wants to use this false confusion to implement a ban that limits the revolution that the vegetable protein market is undergoing. More than 100,000 people have spoken out against this ban because it goes against the needs of consumers and hinders the necessary transformation of our food system”.
Furthermore, eight out of ten people know how to differentiate between meat and dairy products and their vegetable alternatives, which include plant-based milk, vegan cheese, and vegetable burgers, according to the study ‘Nomenclature of foodstuffs of vegetable origin’.
According to ProVeg Spain, this would imply the need to re-label existing products under the new legal framework, which would create uncertainty and incur potentially costly lawsuits for brands deemed to have interpreted the legislation incorrectly, as well as requiring a change of brand to ensure that products can attract and retain consumers who are familiar with the previous labelling, brand and terminology.
The failure could be a setback not only for the plant food industry but also for the European Union’s greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. The meat industry contributes up to 18% of the world’s greenhouse gases, and it has been shown that a transition to a vegetable-based diet could reduce emissions from the entire food industry by 70% and save around 55 trillion gallons of water per year globally.