Court suspends ban on vegan ‘meat’ in France, finding it ‘unjustified’

France’s highest court has overturned the recent controversial ban on plant-based meat conditions proposed by the government in early July.

The ban, which was due to come into effect in October 2022, meant that French producers could no longer use words such as “saucais”, “bacon” and “steak” to describe plant-based meat substitutes – with the waiting for “hamburger”. ‘.

Despite being the EU’s largest beef producer and the world’s 7th largest, the ban was intended to ‘reduce confusion’ for buyers.

The initial decree was strongly supported by the meat and livestock industry: “It will no longer be possible to use terms specific to the sectors traditionally associated with meat and fish to designate products not belonging to the animal world”.

Public reaction

Following the announcement, the ban sparked public frustration and confusion.

According to the food awareness organization ProVeg International, the French decree banning the names “meat” for foods of plant origin would only serve to “encourage the animal agriculture industry at a time when consumption of meat must be reduced”.

In a statement sent to Vegan food and lifeJasmijn de Boo, Vice President of ProVeg International, said: “When governments allow governments to increase their share of emissions, pollution, land, water and animal use, actively making it harder for consumers to make informed, low-carbon choices.

“We need to ask our politicians hard questions. The fossil fuel industry must be reformed, as must the meat, dairy, egg and seafood industries.”

Taking to social media, Nicolas Schweitzer, co-founder of French alternative meat brand La Vie, shared: “You won’t see anything crazier today!

“After having pushed for the reindustrialization of France, the government has just passed a decree pushing us to relocate.”

Schweitzer argued that the government’s decision comes when we need to find sustainable meat alternatives to reduce our carbon footprint.

Court suspends vegan ‘meat’ ban

Just three weeks after the decree was announced, France’s Council of State – France’s highest court – suspended the ban.

According to ProVeg, the court “expressed serious doubts about its legality and found it unwarranted in terms of proof of consumer information.”

In a statement sent to Vegan food and lifeJasmijn de Boo said: “We are delighted to learn that the French Council of State has decided to suspend the decree banning the names of herbal products.

“Plant-based foods are part of the solution to tackling the climate crisis and any regulation should actively support their sale and marketing, not hinder them.”

Want to do your part to help our planet? Follow our easy guide on how to go vegan

Image credit: Aamulya via Getty Images