Last year, MEPs voted in favor of Amendment 171, aka the dairy ban. This would stop plant-based dairy producers from using descriptive terms.
EU law already prohibits the use of terms including ‘almond milk’ or ‘vegan cheese’. However, the new rules would go further.
Consequently, descriptors such as ‘yogurt-style’ and ‘cheese-alternative’ could now be banned too. In addition, the rules could prevent companies from using packaging styles such as butter blocks and milk cartons.
Monbiot tweeted about the proposal, branding it ‘ridiculous’. He added: “The power of meat and dairy lobbyists in the EU has got completely out of hand.”
Then, Thunberg re-tweeted the writer’s comment, adding: “We are in a climate- and ecological emergency, what should we do?
“I know! Let’s ban plant-based-dairy-from-displaying-allergen-info,-being-sold-in-cartons,-using-images-of-their-own-products-and-explaining-the-climate-impact-of-food. That’ll fix it.”
ProVeg has since created an online petition challenging Amendment 171 – which has garnered more than 340,000 signatures at the time of writing.
Moreover, the petition states: “We want you to put a halt to plant-based dairy censorship. Please reject amendment 171.
“If adopted, it would totally counteract the consumer shift to more sustainable eating habits that’s urgently needed to fight climate change.
“Dairy terms are already protected by law. Amendment 171 would go further and censor all use of dairy-related language, packaging, or imagery for plant-based foods.”
The petition then concludes: “Altogether, it would be a huge reversal of the work done so far to meet the EU’s own goals on public health and sustainability, as agreed under the terms of the Paris Agreement. Given the urgency of the climate crisis, it’s a highly irresponsible move.”