The ban, which is due to take effect on October 1, is eagerly awaited by the meat industry as more and more vegetable products hit grocery store shelves.
“It will no longer be possible to use terms specific to the sectors traditionally associated with meat and fish to designate products that do not belong to the animal kingdom”, specifies the text.
The measure is “an essential step in favor of the transparency of information to consumers, as well as the preservation of our products and our know-how”, declared Jean-François Guihard, president of the professional association Interbev des meat breeders and packers.
The ban will apply to products made in France, but not to goods produced in its European trading partners, prompting other farmers’ unions to ask Paris to push the case to Brussels.
ONAV, an association of scientists and health professionals specializing in meat substitutes, said the measure was clearly designed to protect the economic interests of the meat industry.
He said the measure risked hampering France’s transition to more sustainable and healthier plant-based alternatives to meat, which has a strong impact on the climate.
In the European Union, there is no ban on vegetable-based substitutes using the name of the meat product they imitate. This is not the case for dairy products – the use of yogurt and cheese by vegetable products is prohibited.