2016 could not be complete without a new absurd story reminiscent of the Hellmann's v. Hampton Creek "Mayo War." Germany's agricultural minister, Christian Schmidt, has recently been in the news for calling for a ban on vegan labels for meat-alternatives, such as vegan currywurst, as he 'worries' they are confusing the public.
"I do not want us to pretend that these pseudo-meat dishes are meat dishes. These terms [vegetarian schnitzels and vegan curry sausages] are completely misleading and unsettle consumers...I will push for them to be banned in the interests of clear labeling for consumers."
He had urged the European Union in June to consider his proposals, in which meat substitutes "would have to adopt names that are entirely different from the food they are trying to imitate." As a German friend points out, would the attempt to end the seemingly widespread 'customer confusion' extend to products like baby oil as well?
With two studies made earlier this year on the rise of vegan food in Germany as well as the eating trends that indicate an effort to reduce overall meat consumption, perhaps there is no "confusion" about these products at all, and it is actually their popularity that is bothering the German minister (and the Butchers' Association).
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