A petition that aims to prevent the EU from stopping plant-based dairy producers from using descriptive terms is gathering momentum and has attracted some high-profile backers.
ProVeg’s online petition challenging Amendment 171, which the EU Parliament voted for last year and would put a stop to companies using dairy-related language, packaging, or imagery for plant-based foods, has almost reached 350,00 signees.
There is already existing EU law protecting dairy producers. In 2017, the European Court of Justice ruled that dairy terms, including milk, cheese, butter and yogurt, could only refer to products derived from an animal, and not plant-based alternatives
The petition urges the EU parliament to reject amendment 712 and it says it runs against its commitment to sustainability.
“If adopted, it would totally counteract the consumer shift to more sustainable eating habits that’s urgently needed to fight climate change.
“Altogether, it would be a huge reversal of the work done so far to meet the EU’s own goals on public health and sustainability, as agreed under the terms of the Paris Agreement. Given the urgency of the climate crisis, it’s a highly irresponsible move.”
Several high-profile eco-activists have already slammed the amendment with George Monbiot branding the amendment. ‘ridiculous’. He added: “The power of meat and dairy lobbyists in the EU has got completely out of hand.”
Greta Thunberg then re-tweeted Monbiot, adding: “We are in a climate- and ecological emergency, what should we do?
“I know! Let’s ban plant-based-dairy-from-displaying-allergen-info,-being-sold-in-cartons,-using-images-of-their-own-products-and-explaining-the-climate-impact-of-food. That’ll fix it.”
Last year the parliament voted against regulations which would have barred restaurants and shops in the continent from marketing products as “veggie burgers” or “vegan sausages.