The vegetarian ‘steak’ spared the knife in France

The government had said terms such as sausage, lardon, dumpling and carpaccio should be reserved for meat products – Copyright AFP/File JUSTIN TALLIS

Vegetarian “steak” has been spared the knife in France after a court held up a government bid to ban the use of meaty terms to describe plant-based products.

The ban was due to come into force on October 1 following a long campaign by French meat and livestock groups, seeking to enforce the country’s notoriously cumbersome food and drink naming conventions.

The government has said terms such as sausage, lardon, dumpling and carpaccio should be reserved for meat products.

But on Wednesday, the Administrative Court of the Council of State ruled in favor of Proteins France, an organization representative of the vegetable protein sector.

He accepted concerns about the speed and scope of the legislation and granted a stay.

Proteins France is relieved that the government must now pull itself together on the issue, but remains “cautious” in the face of new legal proceedings, the organization’s lawyer told AFP.

“The Council of State has accepted our argument that it is impossible to exclude plant products from the lexical field”, declared Guillaume Hannotin.

He argued that some terms were originally unrelated to meat, such as ‘steak’, which can mean a ‘slice’ in English, or ‘carpaccio’, named after an Italian Renaissance painter. renowned for his use of the color red.

In October 2020, the European Parliament rejected a decision to ban the use of terms of animal origin for plant products – except when words like “yoghurt”, “cream” or “cheese” are applied to products without animal milk.

With the publication of its decree in June, France became the only EU country to go against this decision.