As reported before, the European Parliament rejected the ‘Veggie Burger Ban’ last year in October, while at the same time adopting amendment 171, which would further restrict the use of dairy terms for plant-based alternative foods.
The amendment would prohibit any reference to dairy products for foods not made from animal secretions. This includes currently widely used product descriptions such as ‘vegan soy alternative to yogurt’ or ‘creamy’ and ‘melts like cheese’. This is an unprecedented interference in the labelling practice of vegan and vegetarian alternatives.
However, as the amendment was adopted by the Parliament as part of its position on the reform of the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP), the reform is currently being negotiated between the three institutions Parliament, Commission and Council.
So far, the negotiation block containing amendment 171 has not yet been on the agenda of the trilogue meetings. According to news outlets it is scheduled for 21 April.
Until then, stakeholders seeking to prevent the new rule, including EVU, are trying to find out the position of the different Council members, i.e. the agriculture ministries of the Member States. It seems that the topic is discussed controversially and not all Member States are convinced of such a change in dairy food labelling.
Stakeholder engagement against the amendment
Many stakeholders have joined forces in an attempt to avert the amendment on the Trilogue stage:
ProVeg has started a Europe-wide petition which has now reached over 430.000 signatures.
21 NGOs and 94 cross-sectoral stakeholders issued open letters on the subject.
34 MEPs from various political groups signed a letter against 171.
EVU’s member Austrian Vegan Society recently held an online panel discussion about the implications of the new rule, which can be viewed on Youtube (German).