August 2, 2021

Battle lines are being drawn in Australia over the use of terms such as “mince” and “sausages” on packaging for vegan foods.

Susan McDonald, a senator and former butcher, has pressed for an enquiry into whether meat-related names should be used for to describe vegan and vegetarian foods.

In media reports, McDonald drew parallels with the way in which the names of some alcoholic drinks are protected.

“Just like winemakers wanting exclusive use of some wine names, I feel strongly that our Aussie red meat industry should have sole use of product names that have meant only one thing for centuries,” she said.

She also told media that rules were needed to protect “a highly valuable industry”, adding that it was important that “consumers [knew] exactly what they’re getting” when buying plant-based products.

Based on events in other parts of the world, it remains highly open whether new restrictions will be imposed in Australia.

Late last year the European Parliament voted not to ban vegetarian and vegan foods from using names such as “sausage” and “burger”.

If the rules, which were opposed by environmentalists, had passed, burgers would have had to have been renamed vegetarian discs or something similar.

Their decision went against the view of some farmers’ associations, which had been pressing for tighter restrictions.

In Texas, meanwhile, the House of Representatives has voted in favour of similar legislation, although as it has ye to pass the state’s Senate, the law remains unchanged so far.

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