Plant-based meats can be labeled ‘burgers’ in Europe, encouraging consumers to eat fewer animal products

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Veggie burger enthusiasts can rejoice after the European Parliament on [October 23] rejected a measure to ban use of the term “burger” for plant-based alternatives.

While a seemingly small-world debate — among vegetarians, whether a mushroom in place of a patty counts as a veggie burger on a menu is itself another controversy — the ruling could have big implications for the businesses feeding a burgeoning appetite for plant-based meat alternatives.

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Europe’s meat industry backed the ban, arguing that consumers could be confused by the messaging and mistakenly buy a vegan rather than animal-based box of burgers. The E.U. has already banned labeling as “milk” or “butter” nondairy products based on alternatives such as soy.

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But European environmentalists pushed back, arguing that using terms such as veggie “discs” or “fingers” could deter would-be consumers looking to reduce their meat consumption.

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