You’ll no longer find a block of vegan “cheese” or a vegetarian “sausages” in France, because ministers have banned the use of animal-derived descriptions for veggie and vegan products.
On Thursday MPs voted to ban terms including “bacon”, “steak”, “sausage” and “cheese” where the product has not come from an animal, on the grounds they can be “misleading” to consumers.
Instead, vegan and veggie manufacturers will have to get creative with their product naming, or risk a whopping €300,000 (£262,000) fine for breaking the law - ouch.
It comes after Marks and Spencer caused controversy here in the UK for selling ‘cauliflower steak’ - that’s a slice of grilled cauliflower with some herbs wrapped in plastic - to consumers for £2 earlier this year.
The ban in France was proposed by MP and farmer Jean-Baptiste Moreau, who apparently takes his foodstuffs very seriously. He tweeted on Thursday to say the move would “better inform” consumers, adding: “Our products must be given correctly: the terms of
#cheese or #steak will be reserved for animal products.”
While times are changing in France, veggie “chicken-style” nuggets and portobello mushroom “burgers” are still reigning supreme in the UK, much to the annoyance of some vegetarians.
Previously blogging on HuffPost UK, reporter and vegetarian Sophie Gallagher pointed out “if people have given up meat because they don’t like the idea of eating animals, then equating it to a steak seems a bit backwards”.
“Fundamentally all this marketing of vegetables as burgers and steaks achieves is allowing companies to charge more money for what is essentially just a grilled vegetable that you could buy for 10% of the price in the vegetable aisle,” she added.
Should these terms also be banned in the UK? Let you know your thoughts in the comments below.