Temporary reprieve from the French ban on the words “fleshy” in the labeling of foods of plant origin – Food and Drugs Act

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  • We reported on the decree of June 29, 2022 which prohibits the use of “sectoral terminology traditionally associated with meat and fish” to describe products of plant origin made in France. The law banning “meaty” language, such as “steak”, “sausage” or “chicken”, for plant-based foods was passed two years ago. According to the decree that formalized the law, the ban was to come into force on October 1, 2022.

  • On July 27, 2022, however, according to FoodNavigator.com, France’s highest administrative court granted a request by the plant-based and alternative protein association Protéines France for a temporary stay based on arguments that the industry does not would not have enough time to change brand image and marketing before the deadline of October 1 and “the impossibility for vegetable foodstuffs to leave the lexical field which approaches or moves away from meat”. Protéines France also disputes that some of the terms in question even have their origin in meat, covered by the ban. For example, while “Carpaccio” would be banned, this name comes from the Renaissance painter, Vittore Carpaccio, who is known for his use of red and white tones.

  • The French decree will remain suspended until the court issues a final decision that could potentially overturn the ban. Keller and Heckman will continue to monitor changes in herbal labeling requirements in France and other jurisdictions.

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