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News European court decides: Plant based foods must not be marketed as "milk" or "cheese"

Andy_T

Addicted Poster
Forum Moderator
Bad news - yesterday, there was a rather unexpected decision by the European court of Justice.

Plant based products cannot use the word 'milk', EU court says - Farming
The Article said:
The court said that plant based products cannot, in principle, be marketed with designations such as ‘milk’, ‘cream’, ‘butter’, ‘cheese’ or ‘yoghurt’, which are reserved by EU law for animal products.

It comes following an EU case involving a German company which produces and distributes vegetarian and vegan foods.
The court argues that such names are reserved for products derived by expressing udder secretions.

This can only be characterized as an additional win for the animal exploitation lobby. They recently made the news in Germany with a decision that the cost of purifying drinking water contaminated by excessive animal agriculture will be borne by the consumers of drinking water, who have to get ready for higher drinking water bills.
 

Andy_T

Addicted Poster
Forum Moderator
What is logical?

That only udder secretions (the term used by the European court) may be referred to as milk, cream and cheese?

Or that the meat+dairy lobbyists are clapping each other on the shoulder for a job well done?
(the job of protecting innocent consumers, of course :D)
 

MadamSarcastra

MadamSarcastra, over & out.
I'll say it again... it looks like we'll have to think of a new name for the milkweed plant now.... :rolleyes:

mw-latex.jpg
<---- That's definitely not an "udder secretion".... :p

Coconut-Milk.jpg
<---- And coconut milk! Guess we can't say that anymore either.... o_O
 

Indian Summer

Cult Leader
Administrator
I wonder whether "lab-grown" milk and cheese developed in the future that will be physically indiscernible from that made from udder secretions can be marketed as milk and cheese?

This decision is sick and wrong. Brexit now!
 

Andy_T

Addicted Poster
Forum Moderator
Maybe, but you will not allow to market those as "milk" or "cheese", at least not in Europe, no, sir!!!
 

shyvas

Deity
Forum Moderator
Alpro ( they have the most fabulous tasting products) which is Europe's N° 1 non dairy firm made the following statement :

"The market for plant-based alternatives to milk has boomed in recent years, with coconut, cashew and almond milks increasingly popular with health-conscious consumers and vegans. Worldwide sales of non-dairy milk alternatives more than doubled between 2009 and 2015 to $21bn, according to Euromonitor, the consumer goods research group.

Alpro, Europe’s largest producer of soya milk, said it complied with all current regulations and that the judgment would have “no impact” as it already labels its products appropriately.

“We use the denomination soy drink and communicate about plant-based alternatives to yoghurt avoiding any kind of confusion between ‘milk’ or ‘yoghurt’ and their plant-based alternatives. ”

I always say soya , almond milk, vegan cheese or yogurt but have non problem with the packaging and it's description 'soya drink' ''cheddar style'' etc. I think that the exception of coconut milk is that it always has been called milk in the past. Coconut water and milk being two different things.

I think that it is far more important to know what you are actually buying and eating. All the plant based products have clear labelling and I think that it is a good thing. This has never bothered me in the past. The main thing is to be able to have access to a wide variety of plant based products.

My only complaint is that there is vey little choice of plant based non dairy products over here compared to other European countries.
 

KLS52

Only Kindness Matters
Personally, I don't care what they call it as long as they are readily available.

I think they should be allowed to call it non dairy milk, like non dairy Creamer. Or Almond/Cashew/Rice etc. milk as long as the words non dairy are easily detectable. Unfortunately, my opinion doesn't count, lol.
 

shyvas

Deity
Forum Moderator
Personally, I don't care what they call it as long as they are readily available.

I think they should be allowed to call it non dairy milk, like non dairy Creamer. Or Almond/Cashew/Rice etc. milk as long as the words non dairy are easily detectable. Unfortunately, my opinion doesn't count, lol.
It certainly does.
I also share your pov and really don't care what they call the products as long as the consumer knows
exactly what is being purchase or consumed. I only wish that these products would become more available in standard supermarkets. We don't even get non dairy cheese over here never mind non dairy milk chocolate…..
 

KLS52

Only Kindness Matters
It certainly does.
I also share your pov and really don't care what they call the products as long as the consumer knows
exactly what is being purchase or consumed. I only wish that these products would become more available in standard supermarkets. We don't even get non dairy cheese over here never mind non dairy milk chocolate…..
I am lucky in that our store shelves are overflowing with non dairy options for milk. I'm Daiya and Kite Hill cheese in more stores, too. I do have to travel to 3 or more different stores, though, for different items. But the farthest is my Whole Foods (soon to be Amazon :cry::lol:)...approximately 13 miles. I have three other grocery stores within a four mile radius. I really can't complain.
 

shyvas

Deity
Forum Moderator
I am lucky in that our store shelves are overflowing with non dairy options for milk. I'm Daiya and Kite Hill cheese in more stores, too. I do have to travel to 3 or more different stores, though, for different items. But the farthest is my Whole Foods (soon to be Amazon :cry::lol:)...approximately 13 miles. I have three other grocery stores within a four mile radius. I really can't complain.
That is also what I was thinking. As long as consumers have the choice and especially if the products are available in
standard supermarkets, it makes me wonder why all the fuss ?
 

Indian Summer

Cult Leader
Administrator
Maybe, but you will not allow to market those as "milk" or "cheese", at least not in Europe, no, sir!!!
The UK is in Europe whether they're part of the unholy lobby-bureaucrat monstrosity complex or not :) (Although brits tend to use that term incorrectly 99% of the time as well ...!)
 

Indian Summer

Cult Leader
Administrator
As long as consumers have the choice and especially if the products are available in
standard supermarkets, it makes me wonder why all the fuss ?
EU bureaucrats are now effectively dictating what language we use. Terms like soya milk, oat milk, rice milk, plant milk, soya yogurt, vegan cheese are used extensively in the vegan community, and now we'll not be able to find these terms in the grocery stores any more. This is confusing to vegans, but what is worse, I'm assuming this could also result in these products no longer being sold alongside the animal product versions of these products since, according to the EU court, they are not milks and cheese and yogurts, so will have to be placed in special "weird vegan food" fridges to avoid "confusing" customers. This would be very bad news for the companies that make these products, because they wouldn't be able to expose non-vegan customers (i.e. 99% of the customers) to their products to the same extent. It makes their products seem weird and less appealing.

This really demonstrates the relative power of the dairy lobby vs the soya / non-dairy lobby in the EU. I get the impression that in North America the power of these two lobbies is more even, or perhaps they are competing less since dairy and non-dairy companies are owned by the same parent companies.
 

Amy SF

Dweller in nature
Next the meat lobby will push a ban on vegan companies using versions of the word "chicken" as well as "meat" in labeling their products, because they'll claim those words confuse customers. I seriously doubt it. If they do, we would have heard about it by now.

I'm also concerned that this decision may embolden politicians here in the US who have a close relationship with the dairy and egg and Dead Animal industries. Those industries have been wanting to hurt vegan companies for a long time now for cutting into their profits, and they have influential and powerful friends in Washington.
 

silva

Addicted Poster
I didn't read through this but what prevents the use of one combined word like 'soymilk', or 'nutmilk', hempmilk'?

I see Daiya calls it 'cheeses' things like 'jalepano havarti style block', or 'cheddar style slices'
I actually like avoiding the use of cheese or meat and using the words that actually describe it as different. Seems more like it not competing but standing alone as a better choice.
I'd be more concerned if it were descriptive words like cheddar that were banned, 'cause that's a taste/flavor
 

silva

Addicted Poster
The way non dairy milks have grown kinda makes this point kinda moot anyway!
Thank you Silk!
Now that Silk has Nut protein drinks that out perform milk in every way (10 grams protein, 2 grams sugar) using almond, cashew and pea protein milk doesn't have a leg to stand on! It's so delicious! And thick, creamy thick. I often add water for cereal
 

shyvas

Deity
Forum Moderator
I didn't read through this but what prevents the use of one combined word like 'soymilk', or 'nutmilk', hempmilk'?

I see Daiya calls it 'cheeses' things like 'jalepano havarti style block', or 'cheddar style slices'
I actually like avoiding the use of cheese or meat and using the words that actually describe it as different. Seems more like it not competing but standing alone as a better choice.
I'd be more concerned if it were descriptive words like cheddar that were banned, 'cause that's a taste/flavor
Same here. It actually annoys me when products are called 'chicken' or 'beef' with 'less' 'style' because that is what I want to avoid buying.
I don't see the point of wanting soya, almond etc drinks to be labeled milk as they are not dairy products.

As I have already posted above ; Alpro, Europe’s largest producer of soya milk, said it complied with all current regulations and that the judgment would have “no impact” as it already labels its products appropriately.

I like labelling to be clear and state 100 % plant based. Some products are misleading and when you read the small
print you discover that there are animal products included such as casein etc.
 

silva

Addicted Poster
I agree, it's more a matter of changing how people feel about the words used. It seems in the UK you have more descriptive words for foods- even 'soya' comes off nicer than soy. It wasn't that long ago that tofu immediately got a yuck reaction. Now it's actually being used as an option by many omnivores, and sold everywhere.
Americans aren't used to the term beverage for soy or other non dairy drinks. I'm just very glad that they've become so mainstreamed because now I doubt changing the wording will affect sales.
 
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