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.
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.
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.