EU Allows Dairy Descriptive Terms for Plant-Based Items

Soy Milk Brand

The European Parliament has dropped Amendment 171, a bill which would have censored all use of dairy-related language for plant-based food. Regulations on dairy-free alternatives in the EU are already restrictive. Legislation passed in 2013, means words like “cheese,” or “yoghurt,” can only be used to describe milk-based products which must originate from animals.

This amendment would have gone further and would have prohibited dairy-related packaging formats, such as a carton for plant-based milk, or a block for plant-based butter. In addition, allergen information like “does not contain milk” and descriptive terms like “creamy” or “buttery” would not be allowed.

Plant-based food manufacturers, environmentalists and consumers had heavily criticised the proposed bill. They argue that consumers aren’t confused by descriptions of dairy alternative products and that a more sustainable production and consumption is desirable.