The European Parliament says that a veggie burger can be called a burger


The European Parliament will allow vegetarian meat alternatives, such as Impossible Burger, to retain meat-like names.

Robin Beck / AFP via Getty Images

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Robin Beck / AFP via Getty Images

The European Parliament will allow vegetarian meat alternatives, such as Impossible Burger, to retain meat-like names.

Robin Beck / AFP via Getty Images

The European Parliament met on Friday to vote on a variety of issues, including whether a veggie burger was a burger.

Farmer lobbyists argued in the negative. Environmentalists said yes.

Parliament also said yes in a decisive vote against A. Measurement It would ban vegetarian meat alternatives from being referred to by the name of their meat counterparts. This means terms like steak, sausage and burger.

“Reason reigns, climate sinners have lost,” says Nikolai Filomsen, Member of the European Parliament. chirp After voting. “It’s worth celebrating with a vegan burger.”

According to Camille Perrin, chief food policy officer at the European Consumer Organization, this “makes sense”.

“Consumers are in no way confused about eating soy steak or chickpea sausage, as long as it is clearly vegetarian or vegan,” she said in a statement.

Perrin said terms like “burger” and “steak” for vegetarian foods help consumers understand how to incorporate them into their meals.

Before the vote, Europe’s largest farmers association Copa-Cogeca argued that these types of names harm farmers and promote “misleading and unfair marketing”.

“We simply call for the work of millions of European farmers and livestock workers to be recognized and respected,” said Jean-Pierre Fleury, Chairman of the Copa Kojica Board of Directors. statement Advance in this month. “I am not afraid to say that this is a clear case of cultural kidnapping.”

Milk substitutes

But while vegan meat alternatives are safe, plant-based dairy alternatives – such as almond milk or tofu butter – are not.

Europe The labeling of plant-based dairy alternatives as milk has already been banned with some exceptions.

Parliament has now tightened restrictions and could ban recipes like “yogurt,” “butter substitute” or “fatty,” according to Politico.

Marco Contiero, director of agricultural policy at Greenpeace Europe, described the move as “disgraceful”.

“The voices will not change the fact that more and more people are eating more and more vegetables and switching to meat and dairy alternatives,” Conteiro said in a statement. statementDairy-free products will continue to be labeled “yogurt” and “cheese” anyway.

Global debate

These discussions are not limited to the European Union.

In 2018, France Prohibited Use meat-like terms to describe vegetarian products.

And in the United States, Organizations are fighting over legislation banning the labeling of meat substitutes with meat. Likewise, some states They argued over describing oat or almond milk as “milk.”

Before the vote, Greenpeace took to Twitter to oppose the proposal to ban names.

“It sounds very trivial, but the industrial meat lobby wants the European Parliament to ban the word ‘veggie burger’ because they say it’s confusing,” tweet He said before concluding:

“If they were confused by the word ‘veggie burger’ … what do you think ‘hot dog’?

Reese Ochsner is an intern at NPR News.

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