Protect consumer rights by reversing plans to ban words like 'meat' from food alternatives

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Today, the Regional Services Minister Bridget McKenzie of the National Party will "ask a food regulation forum to back her bid to have Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) review terminology and crack down on imitation and so-called fake foods".

Laws are taking hold in France and Missouri, USA, which restrict the use of labels such as 'meat' and 'milk' to describe plant-based foods, even when they are clearly labelled as plant-based. For example, no more 'plant-based meat' or 'soy milk'.

"[Senator McKenzie] said farmers feared their businesses were at risk because shoppers often did not realise they were buying plant-based products, rather than products from animals."

These products are very clearly labelled as plant-based. For Senator McKenzie or farmers to suggest that a consumer might get confused and accidentally buy these products instead of products from an animal is an insult to their intelligence, and it's anti-consumer.

"Federal National Party politicians have been vocal critics of plant-based protein products being labelled as mince."

This is the most ridiculous claim out of them all. The word 'mince' refers to the production process, not what the product is made from. To mince means 'to cut up into very small pieces'. One can mince plants just as they can mince animal products. The fact that the National Party has been comfortable with the existence of fruit mince pies for years and have made no comment on them recently reveals their true motive.

Australians are buying these plant-based products not because they are confused, but because they are concerned about their health, the environment, and the suffering of animals.

Even if you don't regularly consume these products yourself, the possibility of a ban on the use of words such as 'meat' on clearly labelled plant-based products should be viewed as unfair government intervention to favour one industry. It is anti-consumer and an insult to Australians.

To the Australian Federal Government, we demand that you backtrack on any plans to pass such a law.