The designation “burger” and “steak” will also have to be abandoned. Instead, manufacturers are encouraged to use terms such as “vegetarian disc”. Many experts have already regarded the decision as an attack from traditional animal husbandry.
The European Parliament Committee approved a ban on the use of the names of traditional meat dishes to denote products made from artificial meat substitutes, the Guardian reports. Such terms as “steak”, “beef”, “sausage”, “escalop”, “burger” and “hamburger” are blacklisted. For the decision to take effect, the entire European Parliament must vote for it, but this will happen after the May elections.
Many experts believe that the ban stands for the livestock lobby, which fears competition from producers of artificial meat.
French socialist deputy Eric Andrieu denied these suspicions. He argues that the decision was made solely in the interests of consumers.
People should know what they eat, stresses Andrie. Therefore, only a product from the meat of an animal can be called “steak”, and for vegetable analogues, new words should be invented. For example, burgers from herbal ingredients are proposed to be called “vegetarian discs.” The deputy claims that the norm will be useful for vegetarians who can easily choose the right product for themselves.
Conservation organizations, including Greenpeace and BirdLife, expressed disappointment with the decision. In their opinion, it will strike at environmentally sustainable food production.
The European Union has a very conservative food policy. For example, in 2017, the European Court banned calling soy-based and tofu products as “milk”, “cheese” and “yogurt”. And in 2018 it equated gene editing with GMOs.
Previously, the ban to call artificial meat meat at the country level was adopted by France. Similar measures operate in the US state of Missouri. However, while politicians are trying to stop progress, large restaurant chains are already eyeing artificial meat. For example, Impossible Foods burgers have already appeared in Burger King establishments.