Good Food Institute (GFI) yesterday revealed that the European Union has rejected Amendment 171 that is aimed at imposing a set of restrictions on plant-based dairy companies. The amendment, if passed, would have made it illegal for plant-based companies to sell their products in cartons, display allergen information, use images of their own products, and explain the climate impact of food.
Amendment 171 had received a majority vote in the European Parliament and needed approval from the EU Council of Ministers to become a law.
Although the said amendment has been rejected, earlier restrictions on using terms such as ‘milk’ and ‘yogurt’ remain.
“It is reassuring that European leaders have listened to consumers today. This decision must signal the end of absurd labelling restrictions on plant-based foods at all levels of govt in Europe. Instead of wasting time with pointless proposals, EU leaders should put their climate ambitions into action & support consumers to make sustainable choices,” GFI said in a post.
“Huge thanks to the 21 NGOs who campaigned alongside us to reject Amendment 171!”
In January this year, ProVeg International, Oatly and several other plant-based dairy companies had launched a campaign asking the European Commission and EU Member States to put a halt on plant-based dairy censorship and reject amendment 171.
Later in February, international NGOs called for the EU Parliament to oppose the proposed ban on plant-based dairy alternatives. Led by The Good Food Institute, a coalition of 21 NGOs, including Greenpeace, WWF, Food Watch, and Compassion in World Farming, had signed an open letter to urge EU to not take any action that could stifle the growth of emerging plant-based companies.
The pathbreaking development is likely to set a precedent for how such cases are decided in the future in other countries, including India. In August last year, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had issued a draft notification to prevent the use of the term ‘milk’ for plant-based products. FSSAI’s final notification on the same is expected soon and this announcement is expected to have a bearing on the same.