There will be no stricter rules in the European Union for vegan alternatives to dairy, such as almonds, soybeans and oats.
The European Parliament had already voted in favor of these rules in October, but the petitioner has now withdrawn the proposal after a campaign by vegans, vegetarians and consumer organizations.
Soy milk was not really allowed to be labeled with soy milk, but in the proposal no association or comparison with dairy products should be allowed. After that, the words “milk substitute” or “can be used in place of cooking cream” should not be on the packaging.
The proposal was submitted by the French socialist, member of the European Parliament, Eric Andreu. It was supported, among other things, by the European Dairy Organization EDA. “This prevents differences between dairy products and so-called vegan alternatives,” said Alexander Anton of the EDA recently. “Because this undermines clear consumer information and thus the ability for citizens to choose the products they really want during their daily shopping.”
‘Control of plant-based dairy products’
After much criticism, however, Andreu decided to withdraw the plan last night. Proveg, an organization dedicated to plant-based nutrition, has started a petition against what it calls “the control of vegan dairy products”. It was signed by nearly half a million people.
Companies that make dairy alternatives are happy with the move. “It is imperative to remove legal obstacles to the transition to a sustainable diet, not to introduce new ones,” said Cecilia McAleigh of Oatly.
VVD also thinks it is a good idea to withdraw the proposal. “Consumers aren’t crazy. With the current rules, they can easily distinguish a product of animal or vegetable origin,” says VVD MEP Jan Huitema.
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