The less palatable-sounding “veggie discs” would re[place the veggie burgers a Brussels committee has declared.
Following a vote in the European parliament on changes to a food-labelling regulation, this could be applicable to vegan sausages, tofu steaks and soya escalopes in addition to the bean or mushroom burgers which have already been sent to the food bin of history.
According to analysts, this change implemented on the custom of using nomenclature for vegetarian food that is conventionally used to describe meat, as prescribed by the parliament’s agriculture committee, could have been promoted by lobbying from the meat industry.
According to the revised regulation which was passed with a 80% approval, regulation that passed with 80% approval would be included in protected designations. After May’s European elections, a vote on the changes would be called for by the full parliament. It would then be sent to the individual member states and the European commission to get a final nod.
The prohibition was simply “common sense”, said the French socialist MEP Éric Andrieu, tasked with overseeing the legislation. “The meat lobby is not involved in this,” he said. “It has generated a considerable debate among the political groups and a large majority wanted to clarify things. Particularly in the light of history, the history we share, you can have a steak or burger, you can’t call it something else.”
NGOs such as Greenpeace and Birdlife, arguing that the revision was completely against the ethos of sustainable food, criticised the decision to protect meat-related terms and names “exclusively for edible parts of the animals” was firmly opposed by NGOs such as Greenpeace and Birdlife who insisted it presented a blow against sustainable food.
One of the possible alternatives names that has cropped up is veggie disc to replace the use of the term ‘burger’ for plant-based burgers.
Consumer interest was paramount when the MEPs had voted, said Andrieu said and added that this measure should be viewed as an opportunity for vegetarian brands to create a niche for themselves.
“We felt that steak should be kept for real steak with meat and come up with a new moniker for all these new products. There is a lot to be done in this front, a lot of creativity will be needed,” he said. “People need to know what they are eating. So people who want to eat less meat know what they are eating – people know what is on their plate.”
While expressing some doubts about the motivation behind the new labelling rules, the development had offered her some comfort, said Molly Scott Cato, a Green MEP who is on the agriculture committee.
“The suspicion is that this has come from the meat industry out of panic at the fact that young people are moving away from eating meat,” she said. “It is a clear indication that they are worried about their market being undercut – and that’s quite a good sign. There certainly didn’t seem to be a lot of consumer demand for it. It wasn’t as if people were buying veggie burgers and asking: ‘Where’s my meat?’ People are moving increasingly towards a plant-based diet, and young people at a terrific speed.”
(Adapted from TheGuardian.com)