December 3, 2020

The European Parliament supports vegetarian burgers but denies that soy milk is milk


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The plenary session of European Parliament has supported this Friday that vegetarian hamburgers, schnitzels, sausages or steaks can continue to use these names despite the fact that they do not contain meat, but has also approved another amendment that denies that foods that are traded as “soy milk” can be labeled “milk.”

In the first case, MEPs They have rejected two amendments included in one of the three regulations of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) that sought to introduce definitions related to the terms “meat”, “meat-based preparations” and “meat products”.

The first one asked that the names related to meat and the terms and sales denominations to designate meat, pieces of meat and meat products “shall be reserved exclusively for edible parts of animals and products containing meat.”

In addition, it established that these sales denominations “shall not be used or indicated on the labeling to describe, market or promote food products containing more than 3% vegetable protein.”

For its part, second amendment argued that those names “currently used for meat and meat-based preparations will be reserved exclusively for products containing meat.” As an example of these nouns, the text cited hamburgers, steaks, sausage, schnitzels, or Russian steaks.

Both have been rejected by the Eurochamber: the first with 243 votes in favor, 399 against and 49 abstentions, and the second with 284 votes in favor, 379 votes against and 27 abstentions.

Soy milk is not milk

But on the other hand, in a parallel vote, the plenary of the European Parliament has approved another amendment so that the European rules only allow labeling as milk or cheese those dairy products of animal origin and not purely vegetable substitutes, such as soy milk or foods based on tofu.

This text approved by MEPs introduces a series of clarifications in said regulation on the concepts of “milk” and “dairy products” and thus complies with a ruling of the Court of Justice of the EU (TUE), which in 2017 made it illegal for foods derived from soy or stink to be labeled as milk or cheese.

Thus, the amendment establishes that the names included in the regulations “may not be used for any other product” and also “will be protected against any direct or indirect commercial use of the name” with respect to “comparable products or presented as substitutes that do not respect the corresponding definition “and” to the extent that this use takes advantage of the reputation of that name “.

To that he adds that dairy products They must be protected from “any usurpation, imitation or evocation, even if the composition or true nature of the product or service is indicated or is accompanied by the terms” style “,” type “,” method “,” produced as “,” imitation ” , “flavor”, “substitute”, “similar” or other analogues. ‘

Finally, products such as milk, cheese or yoghurts are protected in this text against “any other indication or commercial practice that could mislead the consumer as to the true nature or composition of the product.”

In any case, the three regulations of the future CAP must now be negotiated between the European Parliament and the Member States, so the final formulation of all these rules depends on the final result of the discussions between the two institutions that will take place over the next few months.

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