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German meat organizations have expressed their dissatisfaction with draft regulations backing ‘meaty names’ for plant-based meat substitutes.
According to them, meat substitutes are a ‘misleading’ category for consumers, and the term ‘meaty’ shouldn’t be used to describe vegetable products.
The meat and vegan producers have come head-to-head in a debate which could see vegan meats labeled using ‘meaty names’ such as ‘schnitzel’, ‘meatball’, or ‘bratwurst’.
The debate, which will officially be settled in early 2018, has been so far in favor of the meat-free movement.
“The preliminary decision of the German Food Code Commission (DLMBK) is a success for the efforts of the vegetarian movement in the name of the consumers,” the Head of European Vegetarian Union (EVU), Till Strecker told FoodNavigator.
The EVU also insisted that utilizing ‘meaty’ terms for faux meats is ‘perfectly reasonable’, since they inform the consumer about ‘typical characteristics’ of the vegan and veggie products.
However, while the DLMBK accepts these generic terms could be used, it argues that specific terms that name cuts of meat or whole animals should not be used in the same manner.
As a result, plant-based salami, for instance, would need to be re-labeled as ‘vegan tofu-sausage Salami-style’.
Strecker added: “This is a major intervention, and the reasoning behind this decision is not based on any comprehensible logic.
“The proposal is not in the interest of consumers or producers of vegan and vegetarian meat alternatives.”
Deputy secretary general of meat industry body CLITRAVI Paolo Patruno believes that the use of ‘meaty’ terms is misleading for consumers.
He claims: “Meat substitutes is a category which we think is misleading itself.
“Meat contains proteins and nutrients which are important as a part of a balanced diet, and which are not provided by the so-called substitutes.
“We think that consumers should first of all be aware of this.”
A final decision from the DLMBK is expected early next year.