When is a burger not a burger? Meat processors say vegetarian 'meat' products mislead consumers
Meat processors say terms like 'vegetarian meat balls', 'vegetarian chicken nuggets' and 'vegetarian ham' are misleading the consumer
European meat processors want the EU to stop meat-related terms being used for vegetarian food products, saying the labels often mislead consumers.
Clitravi an industry group for EU meat processors including Irish meat processors says numerous foodstuffs suitable for vegetarians or vegans derive their sales from names which relate to meat, animal species, specific meat cuts and/ or meat products.
It has written to the European commission to say it believes that this contravenes EU Regulations on the rules relating to "clear and unambiguous consumer information".
In new guidelines meat processors want to see implemented they say products that do not contain meat should not refer to meat in the name of the product.
It says examples of this include vegetarian meat, meat replacer, meat substitute, vegetarian pork, vegetarian chicken, vegetarian beef, are considered misleading terms and should not be allowed.
The same situation should apply, they say to product names referring to meat parts or cuts such as vegetarian minced meat, vegetarian beefsteak and vegetarian chicken chunks. Clitravi considers these misleading and, as such, should not be allowed.
Further it says the same situation should apply to products referring to legal names, customary names or descriptive names of meat products including vegetarian meat balls, vegetarian chicken nuggets, vegetarian ham, vegetarian salami, vegetarian hamburger, vegetarian bacon, vegetarian meat salad, vegetarian mortadella.
It considers all as misleading sales denominations and, as such, in meat processors view should not be allowed.