French MPs roast 'misleading' soya steaks, vegan sausages

French food producers will no longer be allowed to use "meaty" terms to describe products not partly or wholly composed of meat, under an amendment to an agricultural bill.
French food producers will no longer be allowed to use "meaty" terms to describe products not partly or wholly composed of meat, under an amendment to an agricultural bill.PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (AFP) - Soya steaks, vegan sausages and other vegetable-based products marketed as meat substitutes have been skewered by French lawmakers, who agreed Thursday (April 19) to ban them for "misleading" consumers.

Under the measure proposed by a farmer MP, food producers will no longer have the right to use "steak", "fillet", "bacon", "sausage" or any other meaty term to describe products that are not partly or wholly composed of meat.

The regulation, which was tabled in the form of an amendment to an agriculture bill, will also apply to vegetarian or vegan products marketed as dairy alternatives.

Refusals to comply with the regulation will lead to fines of up to 300,000 euros (S$485, 300).

The French decision comes as an agricultural lobby group in the United States is striving to attain the same ban for labels for alternative meats.