Plant-Based Companies In France Can Now Be Fined For Using 'Meat' Labels

Mislabeling can result in fines of up to $370,000
France Agricultural Bill
The ban applies to plant-based meat and dairy alternatives

The French government has banned the use meat and dairy related terms to market plant-based foods - with the threat of a massive $370,000 fine for noncompliance.

The ban

The new terms of the nation's agricultural bill forbid the use of such words as 'meat', 'sausage', 'steak', and 'bacon' on packaging of mock meats, as well as dairy-related terms on other plant-based products.

MP Jean-Baptiste Moreau, who is also a farmer, introduced the bill on the grounds that the labelling is misleading to consumers.

Moreau took to Twitter to post in celebration of the ban - saying it's important that animal product terminology be reserved for 'products of animal origin'.

MP & Farmer Jean-Baptiste Moreau
Jean-Baptiste Moreau, who fought for the ban, is also in the business of animal agriculture (Photo: Facebook)

International pushback

The ban is in part the result of the threat posed to big meat and dairy by the growing popularity of plant-based alternatives - and reflects pushback from the industries occurring internationally.

In Europe, a ruling passed in 2007 by the EU says that dairy terms, like 'milk', 'yoghurt' and 'butter' may only be used on products that come from cows.

North America

Bans are not yet in place in North America, however.

In March, The Good Food Institute slammed the US dairy industry after it lobbied to have the Food and Drug Administration ban the use of the term 'milk' on plant-based alternatives.

While in Canada, not only is meat and dairy terminology still permitted but Health Canada is proposing warning labels, similar to those on cigarettes, be applied to a number of dairy products.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself. 

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PBN Contributor:

Emily Court is a passionate ethical vegan from Eastern Canada. She is a Challenge 22 Mentor, Digital Writer, and experienced animal advocate driven by issues of animal liberation and social justice. She studied at Dalhousie University, where her thesis highlighted intercultural and gender relations. She is an established public speaker, writer, and world traveller with a drive to provide a voice to those who might not otherwise have one. You can follow her on Instagram @emily.j.court or on Twitter @_EmilyJCourt_.

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