Australia Launches Senate Inquiry Into Potential Ban On Plant-Based 'Meat' Labels Are plant-based labels confusing consumers? The evidence says otherwise... - Media Credit: Adobe. Do not use without permission.

Australia Launches Senate Inquiry Into Potential Ban On Plant-Based ‘Meat’ Labels

Politician Susan McDonald says plant-based brands should be prohibited from using term such as 'mince' and 'sausages'

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2 Minutes Read

Australia is launching an inquiry to decide whether it will ban the use of plant-based ‘meat’ labels

Queensland Senator Susan McDonald pushed for an official committee to review the country’s labeling laws.

Plant-based ‘meat’ labels

The politician, and former butcher, argues meat-free brands should be prohibited from using terms such as ‘mince’ and ‘sausages’.

She argues Australia’s meat industry should have ‘sole use of product names that have meant only one thing for centuries’.

According to 7News, McDonald added: “If you prefer tofu over T-bone, then you go for it – but forget the ethics of eating animal products.

“This is about protecting a highly valuable industry and also providing a clear distinction between the real thing and the alternatives so consumers know exactly what they’re getting.”

‘Misleading’ consumers’

Last month, The Texas House of Representatives passed a bill banning the labelling of vegan and cell-cultured food labels referencing their meat/dairy counterpart.

House Bill 316 was okayed by lawmakers in May to prevent brands ‘misleading consumers’.

The bill strictly defines ‘beef’ and ‘chicken’ as ‘any edible portion of a formerly live and whole cattle/ chicken carcass, not derived by synthetic or artificial means’. 

Similarly, it says the label ‘meat’ must not contain any lab-grown, cell-cultured, insect, or plant-based food products. 

However, the bill had not passed the Senate before the session ended on May 31 and is therefore not currently a law in the state.

‘Veggie burger ban’

Despite the crackdown on plant-based labeling, last year the EU Parliament rejected the controversial ‘veggie burger ban’.

If passed, the legislation would have required vegan brands to use terms such as ‘veggie disc’ instead of ‘burger’. 

More recently, the EU rejected Amendment 171 – which put forward similar limitations for labeling plant-based dairy products.

Do plant-based labels really confuse consumers?

Despite politicians’ arguments that plant-based labels are confusing to consumers – a new empirical study found otherwise.

The research – conducted by Cornell University – has been published in the Journal of Animal and Environmental Law. 

It found ‘consumers are no more likely to think that plant-based products come from an animal if the product’s name incorporates words traditionally associated with animal products than if it does not’.

Moreover, it argues ‘omitting words that are traditionally associated with animal products from the names of plant-based products actually causes consumers to be significantly more confused about the taste and uses of these products’. 

This article was updated on July 2, 2021, to state that the banning of plant-based meat labels is not currently law in the state of Texas, as House Bill 316 had not been approved by the Senate before the session ended on May 31. It previously stated that Texas had approved the bill.

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The Author

Liam Gilliver

Liam is the former Deputy Editor of Plant Based News. He has written for The Independent, Huffington Post, Attitude Magazine, and more. He is also the author of 'We're Worried About Him'.

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rodentx2
rodentx2
1 year ago

According to 7News, McDonald added: “If you prefer tofu over T-bone, then you go for it – but forget the ethics of eating animal products.

“This is about protecting a highly valuable industry and also providing a clear distinction between the real thing and the alternatives so consumers know exactly what they’re getting.”

F$$$ HER! She’$ the real thing!

Anthony
Anthony
1 year ago

No group of privately owned businesses should have the right to fence off ordinary English words for an exclusive monopoly. It flies in the face of our common law right to freedom of speech and precedent set in the past by trade mark decisions.

Cesare
Cesare
1 year ago

Beef burger, chicken burger, mushroom burger, soja burger..claiming that only meat can be labeled as burger is nonsense. Its 2021.

Harris
Harris
1 year ago

Mince pies?

Darrell Sawczuk
Darrell Sawczuk
1 year ago
Reply to  Harris

It’ll have to go! haha!

Andy Dodsworth
Andy Dodsworth
7 months ago
Reply to  Harris

Peanut Butter?

Rob Dexter
Rob Dexter
1 year ago

This is so stupid. They know fully well that very few people would be confused by the names. We all know that they’re just trying to stifle competition from companies selling better goods using disingenuous claims and pure lies. The good news is that this won’t last forever as their horrible industry will die a well deserved death before long.

artcomm
artcomm
1 year ago

Any normal human being capable of reading will understand “plant-based” as what it is. “Plant-based” burger is something that looks like a burger, tastes like a burger but is PLANT-BASED and not ANIMAL-BASED in it production.

One does not need to have 17% more neurons, like Albert Einstein, to understand this.

Incidentally, Albert Einstein once said that the human species would not become a better one until we all became plant food eaters.

The problem is the FEAR: fear of the attraction that a plant-based sausage (the good taste, without the bad health) or plant-based burger (again, greater taste but without the health problems) or plant-based beverage (instead of the word “milk”, I agree on this one; the word “milk” makes me feel nauseated) or plant-based meat (food that tastes and feels like meat but without the health problems).

Those are the only products I am attracted to buying and using. The opposite is what SHOULD BE VERY CAREFUL, not to say, explicitly, that something DOES CONTAIN some ingredient of animal origin when it does. That would be criminal.

Yes, criminal: because if one does know what is hazardous to one’s health like animal products and the label does not say it clearly, then the label authors should go to jail, because of trying to damage the consumer’s health in a concealed way.

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