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The French
government has banned the use meat and dairy related terms to market plant-based foods – with the threat of a massive $370,000 fine for noncompliance.

The ban

The new
terms of the nation’s agricultural bill forbid the use of such words as ‘meat’, ‘sausage’, ‘steak’, and ‘bacon’ on packaging of mock meats, as well as dairy-related
terms on other plant-based products.

MP Jean-Baptiste
Moreau, who is also a farmer, introduced the bill on the grounds that the
labelling is misleading to consumers.

Moreau took
to Twitter
to post in celebration of the ban – saying it’s important that animal
product terminology be reserved for ‘products of animal origin’.

International
pushback

The ban is
in part the result of the threat posed to big meat and dairy by the growing
popularity of plant-based alternatives – and reflects pushback from the
industries occurring internationally.

In Europe,
a ruling passed in 2007 by the EU says that dairy terms, like ‘milk’, ‘yoghurt’
and ‘butter’ may only be used on products that come from cows.

North
America

Bans are
not yet in place in North America, however.

In March, The
Good Food Institute slammed the US dairy industry
after it lobbied to have the Food
and Drug Administration ban the use of the term ‘milk’ on plant-based
alternatives.

While in
Canada, not only is meat and dairy terminology still permitted but Health
Canada is proposing warning labels
, similar to those on cigarettes, be applied
to a number of dairy products.

Emily Court

Emily Court

Emily Court is a writer and content creator published in Plant Based News, Raise Vegan, Living Vegan and The Financial Diet. A self-described "recovering vegan hothead," she is now a pragmatic member of Vancouver's vibrant and growing plant-powered community. Hailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia, she holds a BA in Spanish and certificate in Intercultural Communication from Dalhousie University, where her thesis focused on topics of cultural and gender-based discrimination. She aims to apply a privilege-conscious...