Spain Rejects Right-Wing Attempt To Ban Plant-Based Meat and Dairy Labels

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The Spanish government has rejected right-wing party Vox’s proposals to ban labels for plant-based products. 

Vegan and vegetarian product labels will be staying in Spain, after the government rejected right-wing party Vox’s attempt to overturn the EU’s decision on plant-based labels. Earlier this year, the EU voted down two amendments (165 and 171), which sought to censor the use of meat and dairy terms on plant-based products.

Image: Rollito Vegano

Plant-based label ban 

Vox attempted to overturn the EU’s rejections of the amendments, which have been widely dubbed the “veggie burger ban” and “plant-based dairy ban”. The party argued that using animal-based terms on non-animal-based products would cause consumer confusion. 

“These names evoke meat and can cause consumer confusion. Let us call each thing by its name, said Vox party deputy Magdalena Nevado. 

However, the Spanish Committee on Agriculture, Fisheries and Food of the Congress of Deputies has rejected the proposal put forward by Vox, upholding the EU’s decision. 

Related: These 7 Spanish startups are changing how meat is made

Image: Heura

Consumers ‘understand perfectly’ when they buy plant-based products

Commenting on the Spanish government’s move, NGO ProVeg International’s branch in Spain said Vox’s proposal was an industry-backed attempt to clamp down on the growth of the plant-based industry in the country and around the world. 

“Once again, it is clear that you cannot put limits on a sector that grows due to the explicit demand of consumers, who are proven to understand perfectly what they are buying and why they are buying it,” said communications manager Verónica Larco.

“The names that plant products can use have already been widely debated in Europe and it is the standard by which EU members must abide by, it makes no sense to want to change it locally.” 

New data released by the EU’s Smart Protein project shows that almost 50% of all European consumers have cut their meat consumption, following a previous study recording the plant-based industry’s double-digit growth across the continent over the past two years. 

Image: Unsplash

Related: Spanish meat industry attempt to sue Heura’s plant-based adverts rejected by court

Vegan labelling standards

As plant-based food continues to leap into the mainstream, many countries are now taking steps to standardise labelling for vegan and vegetarian foods. 

Japan has recently clarified its rules for plant-based products, with one government minister describing the lack of such guidelines as a “shackle” on the country’s growing vegan industry. Other countries that have established plant-based labelling rules include India and China.

Lead image courtesy of Heura. 

plant based banvegan labelveggie burger ban