In Depth

French MPs ban meat-related words for vegetarian substitutes

Makers of vegetarian foodstuffs will no longer be able to use words such as ‘bacon’ or ‘steak’ to describe their products

Vegetarian meat substitutes in France will no longer be able to carry the name of their meat counterparts.

This week French MPs voted for the measure proposed by MP and farmer Jean-Baptiste Moreau to ban terms including “bacon”, “steak”, “sausage” and “cheese” where the product has not come from an animal, on the grounds they can be “misleading” to consumers.

The regulation, which was tabled in the form of an amendment to an agriculture bill, will also apply to vegetarian or vegan products marketed as dairy alternatives.

Any producers that fall foul of these new conditions will be hit with “a whopping €300,000 (£262,000) fine for breaking the law”, says HuffPost.

“It is important to combat false claims. Our products must be designated correctly: the terms of #cheese or #steak will be reserved for products of animal origin,” tweeted Moreau.

“It is not yet known when the changes will come into force”, says EuroNews.

Some vegetarians have welcomed the ban. Previously blogging on HuffPost, vegetarian Sophie Gallagher pointed out “if people have given up meat because they don’t like the idea of eating animals, then equating it to a steak seems a bit backwards”.

“Fundamentally all this marketing of vegetables as burgers and steaks achieves is allowing companies to charge more money for what is essentially just a grilled vegetable that you could buy for 10% of the price in the vegetable aisle,” she added.

Others on social media suggested it was typical of a country that has shunned vegetarianism for some time.

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