More than 30 politicians are urging the European Commission, the European Council, and Parliament, to scrap the ‘dairy ban‘.
Last year, MEPs voted in favor of Amendment 171, aka the dairy ban. This would stop plant-based dairy producers from using descriptive terms.
The dairy ban
At this time, 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.
Lettter to the European Commission
Now, 34 MEPs have written a letter to the European Commission and Council of the EU to oppose amendment 171, describing it as ‘plant-based censorship’.
“We don’t consider that the labeling of plant-based products needs to be further restricted because current legislation suffices,” the letter reads.
“So, labeling practices in this sector already adequately clarify what the products are and are not.
“Moreover, we’re concerned that imposing additional restrictions to the marketing of these products will halt the growth of a sector that is playing a vital role in making our food systems more sustainable.”
Jasmijn de Boo is the Vice-President of ProVeg International. The organization created an online petition challenging the dairy ban – which has garnered more than 422,000 signatures.
In a statement sent to Plant Based News, Boo said: “We share the concerns about the proposed plant-based dairy restrictions from these 34 European Parliament Members.
“The plant-based dairy sector is already limited in its use of certain terms such as ‘milk’ or ‘yogurt’. But, further restrictions would amount to censorship.
“This damaging amendment was passed silently and was heavily influenced by the conservative dairy lobby. And an impact assessment in regards to the amendment has not been conducted either.”
Boo then added: “The Portuguese EU Presidency has not been open to hearing the feedback and concerns from the plant-based sector. Despite the fact that amendment 171 affects plant-based dairy companies, not the dairy industry.”
“There’s also a lack of clarity regarding which stakeholders are being consulted by the Portuguese Presidency and the European Council.
“The plant-based dairy sector is being censored by amendment 171 and is being ignored when trying to explain the far-reaching consequences of amendment 171 to the Council, Commission, and Portuguese EU Presidency.”