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Are "vegetarian burgers" confusing consumers?

19 June 2019

The EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee invites a roundtable of experts to discuss a proposal from the European Parliament to ban the use of words like ‘sausage' and ‘burger' to describe foods that don't contain meat.


In early April, the European Parliament's Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development agreed to seek to restrict the use of descriptions like "sausage", "burger" and "steak" to apply only to products containing meat and not to vegetarian alternatives. Supporters argue that the change is needed to make sure consumers have access to clear information. Opponents argue that it could make vegetarian food less appealing, and would have a disproportionate impact on people trying to reduce or eliminate meat in their diet.

The Committee intends to discuss the proposal with a range of relevant stakeholders to explore its potential impact on consumers and the food industry.


Wednesday 19 June in Committee Room 2, Palace of Westminster

At 10:30am

  • Ruth Edge, National Farmers' Union
  • Laura Sears, Vegetarian Society
  • Jackie Kearney, Chef
  • Mark Banahan, Vegan Society
  • Geoff Bryant, Quorn Foods

Areas of discussion

Issues that may be discussed include:

  • Whether there is any evidence that consumers are confused by the use of terms such as ‘burger' and ‘sausage' to describe vegetarian products
  • The impact of the proposals on consumers / the meat industry / the vegetarian and vegan food industry / restaurants / food retailers
  • Changes, additions or exceptions that would improve the proposal
  • Whether it would be beneficial for the UK to follow suit if this rule were introduced in the EU post-Brexit.

Further information