EU makes no decision on veggie burger veto and leaves things as they are

EU makes no decision on veggie burger veto and leaves things as they are

Grey smoke for decision on veggie burger veto. In fact, the European Parliament has rejected all opposite amendments about the denomination of groceries of plant origin. Such “non-decision”, which is bound to leave the whole industry in a state of uncertainty, has triggered a few harsh reactions.

On veggie burger veto

Brussels was supposed to decide on two opposite options. If they had approved the amendment forbidding the use of some specific terms, such as “veggie burger”, “vegan meat” or “vegan sausage”, they would have set some limits and shed some light on the matter to the benefit of buyers.

Conversely, they could have approved another amendment asking to ratify something opposite: namely, the option to make use of such terms to consider and call as meat-based groceries some products they are not made from meat instead. In contrast, the European Parliament has rejected them both, therefore leaving things as they are. And provisionally safeguarding, as a matter of fact, “veggie burgers”.

A surprising decision

The decision to reject both amendments turns out to be even more surprising. During the same work session, in Brussels they have been voting to prohibit the use of a few specific terms, such as “yogurt style” or “cream imitation”, and subsequently pinpoint non-dairy substitutes to those products. In so doing, they have eventually extended prohibition, imposed on non-dairy alternative options, to “milk” and “butter”. On top of that, the European Parliament has set a dangerous precedent while looking ahead at the long-awaited debate on regulating the use of some terms such as “fur” and “leather”.

In fact, this “non-decision” is bound to leave the overall situation in a state of uncertainty and leads the way to several misunderstandings. Indeed, this is one of the worst scenarios for whichever market.

Coldiretti’s reaction

“We need national regulations to permanently shed some light on veggie burgers and other products which inappropriately exploit some terms such as mortadella, sausage and hamburger. We need such guidelines to prevent deception to the detriment of 93% of buyers, in Italy, who do not go for vegetarian or vegan food – firmly emphasized Ettore Prandini, President of Coldiretti –.

Unfortunately, such ongoing state of uncertainty is undoubtedly bound to give an advantage to lobbies investing in fake, vegetable and laboratory meat. Most of all, they focus their efforts on a deceitful communication strategy which deliberately takes advantage of popularity and tradition on which the most famous and successful products of Italy’s rearing traditional industry rely.

Such is their plan: to make buyers believe that such commodities are substitutes, both in terms of taste and nutritional benefits, to meat and other meat-based products”.

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