The Council of State validated the request of an association aiming to suspend a decree which should ban from October 1st the appellations ” steak “, “bacon” or other emanating from meat for products based on vegetable proteins, according to an emergency decision consulted this Wednesday, July 27 by AFP.
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By suspending this decree long demanded by the interprofessional meat and livestock associations, the administrative jurisdiction is following the European position, which authorizes the use of terms of animal origin, except for milk-based products.
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The organization Protéines France, which defends manufacturers in the vegetable protein sector (Herta, Happyvore, etc.), last Friday filed an interim suspension against a government decree of June 29, considering in particular that its entry into force on October 1 next did not leave them enough time to reorganize their activities.
The terms sausage, caviar, meatballs or carpaccio would, according to the government, also have been reserved for products made of meat. The decree caused, according to the complainants, the confusion of consumers and manufacturers, who are struggling to determine its scope of application, at the risk of losing market share.
The organization is delighted with this reprieve “auspicious”but remains “prudent” pending a decision from the highest administrative court on the merits, the association’s lawyer, Guillaume Hannotin, told AFP.
“The Council of State accepted our plea based on the impossibility for vegetable foodstuffs to leave the lexical field which comes close or far from meat”, he welcomed. Moreover, according to him, certain names have originally no relation to meat, such as ” steak “which means ” slice “ in English, or “carpaccio” named after the Italian painter who made red prevail in his paintings, recalls the lawyer.
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The Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF) had challenged the urgency of suspending, considering that the promulgation of a law on the subject in 2020 had, on the contrary, enabled them to take their measures before publication of the implementing decree on 29 June.
In October 2020, the European Parliament had rejected by a large majority a text aimed at prohibiting the use of terms of animal origin for plant products – except for designations ” yogurt “, “cream” Where ” cheese “ applied to products without animal milk. With the publication of its decree at the end of June, France had become the only country in the European Union to go against this decision.