Vegetarian “steak” has been spared the knife in France after a court delayed a government motion to ban the use of meaty terms to describe plant-based products.
The ban was due to go into effect on October 1, after a long campaign by French meat and livestock groups trying to uphold the country’s notoriously fastidious food and drink naming conventions.
The government said terms like sausage, bacon, dumplings and carpaccio should be reserved for meat products.
But on Wednesday, the Administrative Court of the Council of State sided with Proteines France, an organization representing the vegetable protein sector.
It accepted concerns about the speed and scope of legislation and granted a stay.
Proteines France is relieved that the government now has to regroup on the matter but remains “cautious” about further legal action, the organization’s lawyer told AFP.
“The Council of State has accepted our argument that it is impossible to exclude herbal products from the lexical area,” said Guillaume Hannotin.
He argued that some terms originally had nothing to do with meat, such as “steak,” which can mean a “slice” in English, or “carpaccio,” named after an Italian Renaissance painter known for his use of the color red is.
In October 2020, the European Parliament rejected a motion to ban the use of terms of animal origin for plant products – except when words like “yoghurt”, “cream” or “cheese” are applied to non-dairy products.
With the publication of its decree in June, France was the only country in the EU to oppose the decision.
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