3D printed salmon: Commission protection for consumers by banning the use of misleading vegetarian and vegan names on labels
Question for written answer E-002792/2023
to the Commission
Alessandro Panza (ID)
An Austrian start-up marketing vegan foods that are visually identical to fish products has added to its range a ‘salmon slice’ produced with a 3D printer.
This is only the latest example of consumer manipulation and distortion of the market, in addition to the various ‘vegan hamburgers’, ‘vegan charcuterie’ and ‘vegan nuggets’.
This is clearly a commercial strategy designed to mislead consumers, as the nutritional content does not correspond to what is mentioned on the label.
The European market has been invaded by foods for vegans/vegetarians labelled using terms that bring to mind products typically made from meat/fish.
Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers is clearly not enough to protect consumers from these market distortions.
In 2021, the vegan/vegetarian foods business was worth around USD 27 billion and it is estimated to reach USD 64 billion by 2030. Multinationals in the food sector have a key interest in maintaining the status quo, at the expense of transparency and clearly using unfair competition strategies against the livestock industry.
In light of the above, does the Commission intend to take action to ensure that consumers are properly informed by definitively prohibiting the use of misleading names for vegetarian and vegan foods that make reference to genuine meat, fish or dairy products?