Bizarre new EU food labelling regulations have been approved by the EU parliaments agriculture committee that could see veggie alternative foods rebranded as discs, tubes and slabs in place of the traditional burger, sausage and steak.
Vegan campaign groups see this as a move from the meat industry who have become increasingly worried about the number of people cutting down on their meat consumption and with others turning to a vegan diet. The number of vegans has quadrupled in the past 4 years, now making up 1.16 per cent of the UK population.
A spokesperson from the popular meat substitute brand Quorn stated that the meat industry is now recognising the potential of plant-based meats and are investing in such products. The products are increasingly being sold to not just vegans and vegetarians, but to people wishing to reduce their meat intake whether due to health, ethical or sustainable reasons. “I don’t think, the need for this regulation is coming from the manufacturers,” says Geoff Bryant, technical director at Quorn.
The House of Lords has shown a consensus that terms like sausages and burgers were general and well established off descriptions in the UK and so did not feel it was appropriate to legislate against. So for now, at least the future of veggie burgers seems safe in the UK.