Reading Time: 2 minutes The petition has garnered more than 16,000 signatures Credit: Adobe. Do not use without permission
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Oatly has partnered with ProVeg International to launch a petition calling on the Europen Commission to reject Amendment 171 – aka the ‘dairy ban’.

If adopted, the amendment would prohibit descriptors such as ‘yogurt-style’ and ‘cheese-alternative’. In addition, the legislation could prevent companies from using packaging styles such as butter blocks and milk cartons.

At this time, EU law already bans the use of terms including ‘almond milk’ or ‘vegan cheese’. 

‘Plant-based censorship’

“We want you to put a halt to plant-based dairy censorship,” the petition reads.

“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.”

‘A highly irresponsible move’

The petition also states that ‘words and phrases like ‘contains no dairy’ or ‘creamy texture’ might be banned’. Comparisons mentioning scientific data might also be banned.

“Bizarrely, the amendment could even prohibit plant-based foods from using photos of their own products on [their] packaging…” the petition reads.

“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.”

‘Wacko’

Last year, Oatly slammed the EU Parliament after MEPs voted in favor of the ‘dairy ban’.

In an Instagram post, the Swedish brand described the motion as a ‘wacko’ direction to take ‘in the middle of a climate crisis’.

“It isn’t so surprising considering there are more milk lobbyists in Brussels than actual cows in pasture during the summer months,” Oatly wrote.

“…And when the Milk Lobby decides to flex its protein-rich muscles we all know what happens—the public loses out. 

“How will consumers now be able to easily compare different food products in order to make more informed decisions about what they eat?”

The petition has received support from a slew of companies such as Upfield, Mia & Ben, Willcroft, Yoghurt Barn, and more. 

You can sign the petition here

Liam Gilliver

Liam is the Deputy Editor and Social Media Coordinator for Plant Based News. He has written for a number of top publications including Gay Times, Attitude Magazine, Oh Comely, and The Huffington Post - and is the author of 'We're Worried About Him'.