EU rejects plan to rename veggie burgers ‘veggie discs’

Proposals previously called for plant-based products to not use names such as ‘burger’ and ‘sausage’

Sabrina Barr
Friday 23 October 2020 14:34 BST
A vegetarian burger made from quinoa, chick peas, rolled outs, onions and garlic
A vegetarian burger made from quinoa, chick peas, rolled outs, onions and garlic (Getty Images)
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The European Parliament has voted against the proposed veggie burger ban amendment.

This means that veggie burgers can continue to go by that name in the EU, rather than being referred to as “veggie discs”.

On Friday 23 October, the European Parliament Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development released a statement on Twitter outlining that MEPs had rejected the proposal for only products containing meat to feature “meat-related names”.

The statement added that there would be “no change for plant-based products and names they currently use when being sold” in the EU.

The Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI) previously proposed amendments, which would have seen plant-based products prohibited from being given meat or dairy-related names, such as “burger”,  “sausage”, “cheese alternative” or “yoghurt style”.

The aim of the proposals was to avoid confusion among consumers when buying either meaty or non-meaty products.

However, some people criticised this proposal, claiming that banning plant-based products from using those descriptions would unfairly impact sales in comparison to the meat and dairy industry. 

Earlier this month, 13 leading environmental organisations sent MEPs a letter stating that the proposals breached the EU’s European Green Deal, an eco-friendly initiative, which aims to achieve climate neutrality across Europe within the next 30 years. 

Before the announcement of the MEPs’ decision to reject the proposal, Asger Mindegaard, a policy officer for agriculture with the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), said: “The Commission’s proposal is likely to confuse European consumers who are already accustomed to terms such as ‘veggie burger’ or ‘plant-based steak’." 

Mr Mindegaard added that many people “buy such products specifically because they want to replace one specific meat product with a healthier alternative”. 

“The common goal of governments, businesses and institutions should be to encourage the uptake of sustainable solutions and alternatives. Instead, in this case we are all wasting time debating a superfluous regulation that will benefit only a few big players in the meat industry," he said.

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