So we have just heard that the French parliament has enacted legislation that obliges food producers not to use the words “steak”, “sausage” or whatever other meat term to describe products that are not partly or wholly made up of meat.
In short this is a move targeted against the healthy meat free and dairy free industry. Companies that fail to comply can get fined up to €300,000. The French MPs have voted this amendment in order to outlaw the use of such vocabulary, claiming they companies are mislead shoppers. Clearly French MP must have a low opinion of their voters. It seems the French are incapable of noticing the difference between a sausage and a fake sausage that says “végétarien” in big letters. Also considering that the EU has strict legislation governing produce packaging and labelling.
Well to be fair on the French, I don’t think they are stupid as their MPs think they are! The reality is that this motion has been put forward by Jean Baptiste Moreau, a French member of parliament for the ‘La République En Marche!’ party, yet one should add that he’s also a cattle farmer. Now that explains a lot! It is strange though that this action seems a lot to me like a piece of 1984, where the Ministry of Truth decides what the truth is! This clearly contradicts the image Macron wants to portray of himself across Europe.
This is more an act of desperation. The meat and dairy industry are feeling the punch. The decision by the European Court to ban dairy style names for soya and tofu has clearly inspired more similar (and stupid) actions . The court here applied existing legislation very strictly.
The reality though is different. Consumer interest in dairy free milk and meat free burgers, sausages and food is on the increase. The action by the French Parliament is a knee jerk reaction by an industry. This though will not stop or halt the change. People are becoming more health conscious. Neither will it stop people from calling non-dairy milk as milk or veggy-sausages as sausages. I don’t think calling veggy-sausages as veggy-sticks or veggy-tubes will catch on :-). And after all why should we try to find another name when it has one. And if you want to change it well .. aller se faire cuire un œuf.
It will be interesting to see how the French Parliament will react to the soon introduction of clean meat. The meat that is grown in a laboratory and not on an animal. With this meat already hitting the streets in the US and the UK, it is only a matter of time for it to arrive in Paris! So what will the French Parliament do next!
Well all this talk of food has made me hungry. Off to eat a burger (vegetarian of course). With French fries!