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Europe may ban vegan companies from using the terms “burger” and “milk”

10 comments, 137 views, posted 3:23 am 15/04/2019 in News by HariSeldon
HariSeldon has 6869 posts, 3648 threads, 983 points
Uber God

The European Parliament is getting into the dictionary business.

Well, sort of.

On April 1, the legislative body’s agriculture committee passed a measure that would prohibit the makers of vegetarian meat and dairy food alternatives from using marketing terms such as “burger,” “steak,” and “milk.” It effectively draws a line of demarcation for and defines those terms, which have traditionally been affiliated with animal food products.

It’s a win for farmers and established meat producers, who hope that the full parliament and European commission will approve the measure after election season in May. It’s a blow to the companies making plant-based burgers and steaks, who’ve decried such measures as protectionist. It also presents a new challenge for vegan and vegetarian upstarts looking to capture swaths of the meat market: If they want to compete, they’re going to have to be more creative.

The dispute over the legality of using certain marketing terms isn’t just playing out in Europe. It’s unfolding across the globe, and a likely outcome is that it will wind up creating a massive headache for new food companies hoping to make a mark in the meat and dairy alternatives business. While courts in Europe have generally affirmed arguments made by animal agriculture, the American judicial system has ruled the opposite.

In Europe, the German food company TofuTown lost a court case in June 2017 over whether it could market some of its products as “tofu butter” and “veggie cheese.” Meanwhile in the US, just one month earlier, a federal judge in the central district of California dismissed a case against Blue Diamond Growers, which makes almond milk, saying that claims of consumers being confused by the marketing terms were “patently implausible.”

Politicians
in US statehouses have come to their own conclusions. In Arkansas, Missouri, and a handful of other states, laws have already been passed barring cauliflower rice makers from using the term “rice,” and plant-based milk makers from using the word “milk.”

These discordant findings ultimately may create a patchwork of regulations around these food products. If new vegan-minded companies want to do business around the world, they may have to devise multiple product-marketing schemes and packaging designs to comply with individual national laws. That’s a hassle, and it’s expensive.

Stuck in the middle are consumers. Polls suggest the vast majority are not actually confused when plant-based companies co-opt traditional meat and dairy terms. In October 2018, a Lincoln Park Strategies online poll of 1,000 US adults found 75% of people were not confused about whether almond milk contained cow milk. That poll was inspired, at least in part, by conversations within the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about how the term “milk” should be enforced. After all, as then-FDA administrator Scott Gottlieb said in July 2018, “An almond doesn’t lactate, I will confess.”

The question facing vegan and vegetarian upstarts is if they can’t, in some places, use words like “burger,” “milk,” “rice,” or “steak” to describe their products, what terms should they use?

Some of the initial ideas don’t seem particularly inspiring. Who’s hungry for a “veggie disc” or “seitan slab?”

Extra Points Given by:

REALITY (5), caculo (1), tamsnod27 (5)

Comments

3
6:44 am 15/04/2019

Quaektem

Good. A burger is a burger. Milk is milk. Vegan sensabilities should be adaptable enough to come up with their own non-meat-based terminology. I ordereded a Portabella mushroom sandwich/burger tonight on a whim (love mushrooms, too much beef in the last few days) and it was awesome! (BBC in Manomet MA if anyone is interested). I also enjoyed vegan cos cos (I probably spelled that wrong) the couple times I've had it. Vegan, as a side dish, is fine. Heck, I'm even willing to try the 'impossible burger' a vegan altenative to beef (but I'll enjoy some chicken nuggets as a side!)

3
9:10 am 15/04/2019

marksyzm

Quote:
It’s a win for farmers and established meat producers, who hope that the full parliament and European commission will approve the measure after election season in May. It’s a blow to the companies making plant-based burgers and steaks


Nah, it's neither of these things. It's a token gesture to the farmers at best but beyond stopping people from growing jack fruit and soy beans, it's pointless.
Those who eat vegan foods know they're eating something different.

3
9:22 am 15/04/2019

marksyzm

Quote by Quaektem:
Good. A burger is a burger. Milk is milk. Vegan sensabilities should be adaptable enough to come up with their own non-meat-based terminology. I ordereded a Portabella mushroom sandwich/burger tonight on a whim (love mushrooms, too much beef in the last few days) and it was awesome! (BBC in Manomet MA if anyone is interested). I also enjoyed vegan cos cos (I probably spelled that wrong) the couple times I've had it. Vegan, as a side dish, is fine. Heck, I'm even willing to try the 'impossible burger' a vegan altenative to beef (but I'll enjoy some chicken nuggets as a side!)

So I guess we'll have to change the name of coconut milk now then

6
10:07 am 15/04/2019

REALITY

They should give food edible specific pronouns to help them identify as to what they truly believe they are. Who's to say a coconut wants to even identify as a coconut? ENOUGH forcing these social norms on our food.

2
10:30 am 15/04/2019

caculo

Not a real problem... You can stick the word "milk" between commas.

1
1:00 pm 15/04/2019

elsels

Good.

0
10:12 pm 16/04/2019

backroom

Quote by marksyzm:
So I guess we'll have to change the name of coconut milk now then


Coconut do not lactate, so it is not milk.

2
10:21 pm 16/04/2019

marksyzm

True, but we've had almond and coconut milk for hundreds of years, and we didn't have eggplants until less than 200 years ago. But I'm not governed with the job of naming things, here.

1
11:31 am 17/04/2019

REALITY

Quote by backroom:
Quote by marksyzm:
So I guess we'll have to change the name of coconut milk now then

Coconut do not lactate, so it is not milk.

If plants feel pain sure as hell they can fucking lactate.

Eating plants is murder!

1
12:18 pm 17/04/2019

elsels

Lol!

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