France is again aiming to become the first European country to regulate how plant-based alternatives to meat are defined. Sky News reports that under a new decree issued by the French government, producers will no longer be able to use 21 meat terms including “steak”, “ham” or “butcher” to describe their plant-based products. However, more than 120 terms including “bacon”, “burger”, and “sausage” could still be used if the percentage of plant proteins present do not exceed a certain amount. French ag minister Marc Fesneau said in a statement that the proposal, “reflects our desire to put an end to misleading claims . . . by using names relating to meat products for foodstuffs that do not contain them.”
It’s the second attempt by France to institute such a regulation. A similar decree announced in June 2022 was shelved by a court because they considered the decree too vague, with not enough time allowed to implement the new rules. If allowed to take effect, food producers would have three months to adapt their labels, with one year to sell their current product.